We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
All My Sons

All My Sons


by Arthur Miller

Analysis: 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 guilt – and associates it with the death of his brother, also a pilot – Keller repeats over and over, "he never flew a P-40" (2.526). He doesn't feel a responsibility to the rest of the world, only to his family. Yet a long-hidden letter from his dead son makes the man's responsibility clear. Finally Keller understands (and here's where the title gets a nod): "Sure, he was my son. But I think to him they were all my sons. And I guess they were, I guess they were" (3.167). Using the metaphor of family, Miller makes a point about the necessity of a wider social conscience, one that includes not only ourselves and our offspring, but also our whole world.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...