All My Sons: Miller's Chief Criticism of American Society

Topics: Philosophy of life, Morality, Sociology Pages: 2 (649 words) Published: October 8, 1999
All My Sons: Miller's Chief Criticism Of American Society

By: Richard Younge

A shot was heard throughout the Keller home as Joe ended his guilty, worthless life. Miller criticizes that American society has become corrupt- a place of selfishness, where people care too much about themselves, and that which benefits them, and will go to any lengths to achieve that goal; even if the repercussions of their actions will bring harm to other people. He stresses that money seems to be the key factor that drives society to this level of corruption.

Miller emphasizes this point in several ways. The first example is that Keller knowingly ships out cracked cylinder heads, that will crash an airplane if used, to prevent his business from going bankrupt, claiming that he did it for his family. The second example is that Sue would rather Jim make allot of money, and not do medical research- which is what he really wanted to do. The third example is Jim's abdication of his pursuit of medical research do to the lack of profit involved.

In his play "All My Sons," Miller makes it apparent that society in general values money and profit more than human life. He shows this by his portrayal of Keller. Keller ships out cracked cylinder heads, aware that in flight they will cause planes to crash, to save his business from being shut down. Furthermore, he goes on to allow the blame to fall on Steve, in order to save himself from going to jail, even though Steve was not the only one guilty. Keller tries to rationalize his actions by saying that he committed this heinous act for the benefit of his family- so that they will have money and everything else they need and can live happily. "Chris... Chris I did it for you. It was a chance and I took it for you." This portrays the human characteristic of creating a false sense of innocence in spite of ones guilty actions- and conscience.

Honesty only comes out of ones guilty conscience when it benefits them. Sue would...
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