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How Does the Father-Son Conflict, Critique the American Dream?

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Adoo Narang

on 4 March 2013

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Transcript of How Does the Father-Son Conflict, Critique the American Dream?

By Advitiya Narang
Grade 9 How does the Father-Son Conflict in All My Sons (Arthur Miller),
critique The American Dream? The Result of the Conflict
leads to the reading of the letter that Larry
had sent out to Anne before his disappearance The Idealist vs The Dream The Result Joe's Actions What Joe Keller did, ultimately destroyed his family and tore them apart because he covered up his atrocious act in order to keep the financially stable.

But when the truth is later revealed in Act 3, he attempts to describe his actions by saying he did everything for Chris and the family. The Idealist represents Chris and the The
Dream represents Joe.

Chris was a soldier in the WWII and Joe was a War Profiteer. Chris was totally against this and in Act 1, the conflict begins.

What Chris did, was give back to Society-He fulfilled his Social Contract by fighting in the War.

Joe, on the other hand, made 'Blood Money' from the war but was not the only one who did so. What happens at the end of this conflict? The Social Contract Theory What is it? How Joe's Actions Affected Chris The truth stated that Joe was responsible for sending 21 pilots to their deaths because he knowingly shipped out 21 faulty cylinder heads.

But when Chris hears the truth and Joe's reasoning about him doing everything he did, for Chris and the family; that's when Chris really flips out at his father.

Chris is devastated when he hears this because that means that his father is saying that he killed Chris's Boys in order to help Chris.

This huge conflict at the end of the Act 2 just goes to show the dark side of the American Dream. This due to the fact that Joe was willing to do anything in order to keep his business running and his family, stable and happy. The Social Contract Theory talks about the moral obligation that each and every person faces, about giving somehting back to society. In All My Sons, we see Chris as the charecter who has fulfilled his Social Contract to Society by going to fight in World War II.

Joe Keller on the other hand, although he fought in World War I, he still needed to give back to Society after achieving success in his business.

However, we can see that Keller doesn't because instead, he damages society by sending out the 21 damaged cylinder heads to war. But no-one (at first) is aware that it was Keller's fault except from Keller himself. Joe shoots himself..... So how does Miller Critique the American Dream? Well for starters, he uses Joe's actions to show a typical capitalist: bothered only by money and the welfare of his family and business.

Then, he goes onto use Chris's idealistic personality to clash into the Capitalist Values that Joe has.
But what does that do? Then at the end, when he realizes his mistake, he shoots himself.

This represents the fact that, the American Dream is too narrow minded as it doesn't take Society into account-The Social Contract Theory is basically non-existent to capitalists like Joe; who are bothered with their family and business's welfare Then Joe, after reading the letter,
faces a great realization and eventually.........
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