Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis

Literary Devices in All My Sons

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

In the left corner, downstage, stands the four-foot-high stump of a slender apple tree whose upper trunk and branches lie toppled beside it, fruit still clinging to its branches." (1.1)This is Larr...

Setting

In the first stage directions, Miller goes into a good bit of detail about the setting of the play. The Kellers' house is located in the outskirts of an American town. It's two stories high, has se...

Genre

All My Sons qualifies as a drama because it's a play, a piece of literature that's never fully realized until it's put on stage in front of an audience. On the micro level, it's a family drama, for...

Tone

Each character in All My Sons argues for his viewpoint – and we can hear Miller's pleas in their voices. Joe begs everyone to "see it human" and forgive his monstrous deed (2.481). Chris weep...

Writing Style

Miller was well-known for his ear for dialogue. There's not a lot of poetry in the language. Instead it sounds natural, like regular people talking. Even the most climactic moments register as beli...

What's Up With the Title?

Joe Keller is a successful businessman living in a small American town. A few years prior, during the war, he caused the death of 21 pilots, then hid his crime. When his son Chris discovers his gui...

What's Up With the Ending?

At the end of All My Sons, Joe Keller faces the judgment of both his sons: one accusing him from the dead and one ready to drive him to prison. He goes inside and shoots himself. What does this sui...

Tough-o-Meter

All My Sons is realistic and accessible. The characters speak like normal people (all right, like normal people in the late 1940s) and the action unfolds in a narrative that's easy to follow.

Plot Analysis

Joe, Kate, and Chris Keller are a happy family, except for missing their son and brother Larry.The story starts with the basics: who, where, and what. We're in a small American town, meeting the Ke...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Tragedy

Ann arrives at the Keller household.Booker tells us that in the anticipation stage, the hero is incomplete or unfulfilled. For Joe, this is the sudden flare-up of his guilty paranoia about the old...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Joe Keller is on orange alert. His defenses are raised by the accident of Larry's tree blowing down, by his wife Kate's anxiety, and mostly by the arrival of Ann, the daughter of the man he landed...

Trivia

Did you know that Arthur Miller was briefly married to Marilyn Monroe? (source)Arthur Miller refused to name Communist Party members during the Red Scare of the '40s and '50s. He talks about it here.

Steaminess Rating

There's a little kissing, but that's it. You can totally watch this play with your parents, without wanting to die.

Allusions

George Bernard Shaw (1.535): A politically outspoken socialist Irish playwright, 1856-1950.P-40 (1.479, 2.526): A World War II fighter plane.Zeppelin (2.197): A dirigible (flying blimp).Mohandas G...
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