I found Arthur Miller’s All My Sons to be quite an interesting play, it is set within 1940’s America in a house belonging to the Kellers’. The prominent characters that feature in the play are Joe and Kate Keller, their son Chris and missing Larry, and Larry’s ex girlfriend Annie. The family are sent into crisis after the tree planted in memory of Larry is blown down by a storm, causing secrets and lies to be revealed over the course of the play. Kate struggles with accepting the death of her son and will not let anybody around her move on from the events, Chris and Annie are in a secret relationship and try to find a way to tell the rest of the family and Joe’s guilty conscious leads Chris to find out that he had previously caused the death of 21 pilots, including the death of Larry due to selling faulty mechanics to the army.
The title ‘All My Sons’ is intriguing as it could be seen as linking to the death of all the 21 pilots, and whilst only one of them is actually Joe’s biological son, all of them died as a cause of his actions and all of them are sons to their parents, therefore Joe should feel equally guilty for the deaths of all of the men as though they were all his sons.
After facing judgement from both of his sons, one of them accussing him from the dead, and the other ready to send him t0 prison, Joe decides suicide is the best way out of the situation and kills himself. We believe that perhaps the guilt became too much, previously he was able to sweep the situation under the carpet, however now he knows that he will never be able to be forgiven by his family and as a result of this, he ends his life.