Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?
Earnest and Political
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 weeps and gets uppity with his dad: "Don't you have a country? Don't you live in the world? What the hell are you? You're not even an animal, no animal kills his own, what are you?" (2.557).