How is the title of Arthur Miller's play, All My Sons, justified?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The title says everything about the perspective that Joe Keller ought to have had on humanity but chose not to adopt out of greed. He should've realized that he had a great responsibility to all the airmen who'd rely upon the aircraft engine parts he supplied. In that sense, he should've regarded those airmen as if they were his own sons and protected them accordingly. But he didn't. Instead, he ignored their safety and welfare in pursuit of the almighty dollar.

The title of the play also implies a greater responsibility to humankind as a whole. Miller appears to be suggesting how important it is for us to realize that we all have a duty to look out for each other. And the headlong pursuit of wealth, as so tragically illustrated in the case of Joe Keller, represents a serious dereliction of this duty.

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playsthething eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I answered a question very similar to this recently (link is below).  The title is justified by the line that Joe Keller has late in the play: “I think to him they were all my sons. And I guess they were, I guess they were.”  What Joe is referring to is the fact that he should not have only been thinking of his biological sons when making the decision about the faulty parts.  He should have been thinking of any airman as his son - that they are all his sons.  His moral responsibility extends beyond his immediate family.

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