How does Arthur Miller show in All My Sons that the American Dream has become perverted?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In All My Sons, the American Dream has been corrupted (I think this is a better term) by selfish desires.  Joe Keller's view of the American Dream includes creating a successful business to pass on to his two sons and making enough money to allow his family to live comfortably.  Joe's desire to be a self-sufficient provider for his family are honorable.  However, Joe consciously decides to risk the lives of others to maintain this financial security when he orders Steve Deever to ship the faulty machine parts.  At this point, Joe is selfish and does not see that his decision may cause harm to others and their families.  He puts the concern for his own family first and disregards others.  The play suggests that the concept of the American Dream has been corrupted by greed and selfishness and that prosperity is no longer a global, communal venture, but an individualistic one.

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All My Sons

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