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All My Sons

All My Sons

by Arthur Miller

Wealth Theme

Money, money, money. It's all over All My Sons. Protection of assets leads the characters to commit some unsavory acts – but that's the way the world is, right? The doctor's wife nags him to make more house calls to up their income. Joe Keller defends his war profiteering because caring for his family, to him, meant growing his business. Joe's idealistic son, Chris, disdains business, but get some grape juice in him and he's all "Annie, I'm going to make a fortune for you!" to his fiancée (1.545). In this play, capitalist culture is pitted against human decency, and the two just can't seem to get along.

Questions About Wealth

  1. Presumably, Chris will take over the business now that his father's dead. What do you think he'll do with it? Or do you think he'll take it at all?
  2. Do you think Miller's portrayal of the overweight, money-grubbing doctor's wife has a touch of the misogynistic?
  3. How does Miller reflect the material values of this society in his settings?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In the world of All My Sons, the moral man is a martyr.

In All My Sons, Miller pits capitalism against morality, implying that they cannot coexist.

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