To What Extent Is Aurther Miller's 'All My Sons' a Critique of the American Dream?

Topics: All My Sons, American Dream, James Truslow Adams Pages: 4 (1439 words) Published: May 10, 2008
To what extent is Arthur Miller’s ‘All My Sons’ a critique of the American Dream

Arthur Miller was an American playwright and was a prominent figure in America until his recent death in 2005. It was at this time of his death that Miller was considered one of the greatest American playwrights. In 1947, after his disastrous play – ‘The man who had all the luck’, ‘All My Sons’ was published, which brought Miller recognition and was the start of his successful career. ‘All My Sons’ is set after World War 2 and touches on The Great Depression, which was a decade of ‘dramatic and worldwide economic downturn beginning in some countries as early as 1928’. Many Americans were left in high poverty, jobless and homeless due to shops, factories and banks closing. For Miller, the Great Depression had a huge impact on his family, as he had no money for college after he graduated and therefore had to work in a number of tedious jobs in order to pay for his tuition. A key idea explored in the play is the American Dream and is one of the main themes in the play, as it refers to all major and minor characters and shows that they all relate to this theme in some way. The American Dream is "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement...It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position." Quote – ‘The Epic of America’ written by James Truslow Adams. A critic has said that ‘All My Sons’ is a criticism of the American Dream as “Joe Keller (the main character) accepted the idea that a good businessman like himself should patch over the flawed shipment, Miller critiques a system that would encourage profit and greed at the...
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