Nota Feedback Friday

I have read about half the essays, pretty happy so far 😉 Please review this and answer the questions below.

For an essay on drama, you MUST write a paragraph on each of the below and use it to answer the question.

If you don´t discuss the language that Arthur Miller uses, you CANNOT get more than a 5,4, as stated in the markscheme (which you received in paper form, we talked about in class, AND is available on my blog.)


Setting/Mood/ Intrigue, tension and suspense

Characterisation (how the character IS/development)

Dramatic Irony



Nota question:

Re-read from ‘Chris: Sometimes you infuriate me, you know that?’ (Page 15) To ‘Keller: Yeah. I can see that.’ (Page 18)

What does Miller make you feel about Keller and Chris at this moment in the play? Support your answer with details from the text.


  • Plan your answer thoroughly before you begin writing. Spend at least 15 minutes planning.
  • Open with an introduction and close with a conclusion whilst following a point, evidence, explain formula for the body of your script.
  • Embed quotations.
  • Use paragraphs.


Perfect Introduction, taken from Santiago Videla´s essay (well done btw)

In the play ‘All My Sons’ Arthur Miller manipulates the audience´s feelings by using different writing techniques to describe and contrast Joe and Chris, the main characters of the play. These techniques are plot and context, setting and mood, characterization, irony and language and themes.



Miller´s play is modern realism. He tries to describe his characters as realistic as possible and put them in normal situations with everyday problems and conflict. Miller creates a ´mirror´ that reflects normal life, to make the audience feel more attached to the characters. He shows that common people are as important as royalty and famous figures.

After two second world wars and a great depression. The characters have lived through this. Audience can relate to them. The characters problems mirror their own and the audience become involved in the characters.

Ideal of the American dream.

The USA was two times richer after the second world war = survivor´s guilt.



Surrounded by trees, symbolism because Joe wants to hide secrets.

In the backyard of the house, where people act like who they really are.

Play takes place in one place only. Audience is focused on the dialogue and what little action there is. Audience have to ‘read between the lines’ to understand what will happen next. Can argue that the start of the play is deliberately boring. Beginning of tension.



In act 1, pg 15, Chris said, “Sometimes you infuriate me, you know that?…. I gotta ignore.” The plot of the extract describes father and son in a serious discussion. This is the first time we see the two characters talking alone together. Tension and conflict we did not see before.


Miller uses the plot to create foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is the conflict that we now see between father and son… maybe it will get worse.

Foreshadowing builds tension  = play is more interesting


The plot is a tragedy and Joe is a tragic hero, this is the anticipation stage before it begins to go wrong for the tragic hero.



Comparatively tense atmosphere compared to before.



In this extract, where the two characters argue Miller shows how different Chris and Joe really are.

They stand for two different philosophies = self interest of Joe and social responsibility of Chris. These philosophies divide them in the end.

Joe believes in the American dream, but not at the cost of other people.

Chris and Joe have a believable father-son relationship.



Realistic dialogue to reflect real problems, the characters seem very realistic so the audience can relate to them.

Joe says hell twice, betrays his anxiety, this would have been a really bad swear word in 1947.  Chris never uses this word against his dad.


Dramatic Irony

dramatic irony = gives the audience additional information.

keeps the audience interested.

“You have such a talent for ignoring things.”

“the whole shooting match” (Chris is the one who went to fight, not Joe.)

We realize it is dramatic irony later because at this point we do not know that Joe was responsible for the faulty bombs. Miller creates a ´fake´ good Joe which makes his revelation at the end all the more shocking.



Social Responsibility



Underline what you missed.


Write your name here ______________________


All My Sons Questions

Please answer in your copy books.


  1. Do you think the world is divided into honest suckers (Steve Deevers) and dishonest winners (Joe Kellers)?
  2. Does Miller believe people are fundamentally good or bad?
  3. Do you think Larry’s suicide was an act of courage? What about Joe’s? Is suicide ever an act of courage?
  4. Drawing from people in your life, cast All My Sons. (You don’t have to tell them, especially if its not so flattering.)
  5. Do you think this play would work if it was updated to the 21st century? Why or why not?




The American Dream

The American Dream

Miller points out the flaw with a merely economic interpretation of the American Dream as business success alone. Keller sacrifices other parts of the American Dream for simple economic success. Has he given up part of his basic human decency (consider the pilots) and a successful family life–does he sacrifice Steve or Larry? Miller suggests the flaws of a capitalist who has no grounding in cultural or social morals. While Keller accepted the idea that a good businessman like himself should patch over the flawed shipment, Miller critiques a system that would encourage profit and greed at the expense of human life and happiness. The challenge is to recover the full American Dream of healthy communities with thriving families, whether or not capitalism is the economic system that leads to this happy life. Economic mobility alone can be detrimental–consider George’s abandonment of his hometown for big city success. There is a rift in the Bayliss marriage over Dr. Bayliss’s desire to do unprofitable research, because his wife wants him to make more money instead of do what he enjoys and what will help others.



Google these topics:

Great Depression.

Relationships and ideals. What does each character want?

Guilt. Conscription. 

US World war 2 propaganda

Communism and the USA

American Dream

By the end of the war the US was twice as rich as it was when the war started, the major beneficiaries of this would be the arms manufacturers

The United States made a lot of money through World War II. Its industry saw a dramatic climb as more jobs were created, providing a strong work force. The war demanded weaponry, ammunition, vehicles, supplies, and food to be processed and delivered world-wide.

All My Sons: What happens?


Setting: USA, the Second World War has ended. Late 1940s.

Joe Keller is a successful, middle aged, self made man. His sons Chris and Larry went to fight in the second world war. Chris comes home, but Larry is missing. Kate, Joe´s wife, believes he is still alive.

He has a manufacturing plant with his friend Steve Deever.

The manufacturing plant during the war makes bombs for the government.

They ship defective parts out to the front line, which blow up before time and make 21 planes crash, killing innocent soldiers.

Steve and Joe are arrested for this, but Joe Keller lies, blames everything on Steve and does not go to prison.

Steve goes to prison.

IMPORTANT: According to the audience, all of these events happened in the past. The play´s action starts now, three years after all of this happened. The audience does not know the truth about the above until the climax of the play.

Joe is chatting with neighbours in the back garden. His wife, Kate, still believes her son, Larry, who is missing, is alive.

Chris is about to marry Steve Deever´s daughter, Ann – who is also Larry (his brother´s) ex girlfriend.

Ann turns up, Chris asks her to marry him. She says yes. Kate is very upset. George (Anns  brother and now a lawyer) turns up and accuses Joe. Ann tells Kate Larry is dead because she received a letter from him.

Joe admits the truth to Chris. Chris refuses to forgive him. Joe realises what he has done and shoots himself.

The End

Who is Arthur Miller?

Screen shot 2013-08-14 at 10.21.09 AM Screen shot 2013-08-14 at 10.20.39 AM

(October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005)was an American playwright and essayist.

Miller was often in the public eye, particularly during the late 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s, a period during which he testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee, received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and was married to Marilyn Monroe. In 2002 he received the Prince of Asturias Award and in 2003 the Jerusalem Prize.