In Arthur Millers 'All My Sons' how has Miller made it possible to identify with the characters?I've gathered various points and techniques, finding it quiet hard to expand upon this question...

In Arthur Millers 'All My Sons' how has Miller made it possible to identify with the characters?

I've gathered various points and techniques, finding it quiet hard to expand upon this question though.

 

Any help is much appreciated!

Expert Answers
Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One way that Arthur Miller establishes audience/reader identification with the characters in the Keller family is through their representation as a respectable middle class American family that has pulled itself up by its bootstraps, as the saying goes. Further, the sons are veterans of World War II and one son is still missing. These are both very sympathetic points that audiences/readers can identify with.

Another element manifested from what Miller establishes regarding the above is the philosophical and moral notion that none of us are perfect. This notion is what makes us forgive other people's flaws and lends us tolerance for their foibles. One other thing that Miller does to establish identification with his main characters is to surround them with neighbors who have known them and respected them for many years. This adds a third-party confirmation to the feelings of sympathy and identification. And, yes, we find out early on that there were shocking problems associated with Joe Keller's partnership with Deever, but this only serves to cause us to worry about the Kellers, and, because of the previously established sympathetic identification, we have no impulse to condemn them.

Contrast Miller's structure of character introduction to a hypothetical scenario that might open Act I with Mother's private conversation with Ann, which is followed by Joe's private conversation with her (Act 1). This opening would establish the opposite of sympathetic identification with the Kellers because they would be cast in their worst light from the outset.