Ideal essay opening…

How does Arthur Miller illustrate the complex situation in ACT 1 in “All My Sons”?

“All My Sons” was written in 1947 by the American Jewish writer, Arthur Miller. It is a tragedy about the manufacturer, Joe Keller, who sells defected cylinder heads to the military in order to save his business. It talks about morality in the context of desperation, and appealed greatly to the American people who had just gone through a war and a depression.

Arthur Miller uses several techniques in Act 1 to illustrate the complex situation he himself has created. We are introduced to a neighbourhood consisting of the Kellers, the Baylisses and the Lubeys. Joe Keller is put forward as a father figure, and his home is a welcoming place where neighbours come to chat and spend time with each other. On the outside, Keller seems like a nice old man with a clean record, but Miller weakens this impression by making the characters so different. Chris and Joe share many of the same qualities, but Chris has other moral values – to him, there is a more significant…


1. The introduction shows you understand the context of the play.

2. Arthur Miller uses several techniques in Act 1 (which are characterisation, dramatic irony, setting…)

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