Arthur Miller’s All My Sons: The Relationship between the Individual to Self and Individual to Society

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Dr. Nidhi Kulshrestha


Pulitzer Prize winner, Arthur Miller, is the post-war American dramatist with whom American drama acquired new dignity and import. The question of public issues and private conscience is in fact, the main concern in the plays of Arthur Miller. In All My Sons, Miller’s first important play, he shows the strong mutual relationship between individual and society. It is a family tragedy where the lives of the entire family are blighted by the crime of the father. It is a play about the individual’s relationship to self and about the obligation he has to his society. Joe Keller, the protagonist, has wrong notions that are to get a prosperous business and a high standard life for his sons and wife. For the betterment of his family, he breaks off his connection from the society in which he lives. It is a play about an individual’s selfishness and the socio-economic pressure of the so called highly commercialized society of America which compels him to violate the norms of the society. It is a social play which indicates that both individual and society are complementary to each- other. Joe shoots himself in the end of the play when he gets total rejection from his son for whom he did anti-social act.


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Dr. Nidhi Kulshrestha. “Arthur Miller’s All My Sons: The Relationship Between the Individual to Self and Individual to Society”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 2, no. 2, June 2017, pp. 89-94,


- Bigsby, C.W.E. Modern American Drama. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. p. 30.

- Miller, Arthur. All My Sons. New Delhi: Penguin, 2001. p.122.

- Ibid., p.126

- Ibid., p.126

- Ibid., p.116

- Ibid., p.115

- Ibid., p.181.

-Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, All My Sons, A Memory of Two Mondays, A View from the Bridge. London: Methuen Publishing Ltd, 1988.

-Miller, Arthur, Collected Plays. London: Cresset Press, 1985. p 80.

- Nelson, Benjamin. Arthur Miller: The Portrait of the Playwright. London: Wright Peter, 1970. p.81.

- Miller, Arthur. All My Sons. New Delhi: Penguin, 2001. p.59.

- Ibid., p.115

- Roudane, Matthew. Conversation with Arthur Miller. London: Jackson, 1987 p.101.