All My Sons Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

All My Sons book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Explain the post war effect in the play All My Sons.

Expert Answers info

Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write5,338 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

By setting his play in the years following World War II, Arthur Miller emphasizes the dramatic changes in U.S. society and the challenges that many people faced in recovering from the war. Although none of the war was fought on U. S. soil and Americans lost fewer American lives were lost in proportion to those from other countries, the war’s impact continued to be felt into the 1950s. Miller stresses the wealth that war-time industry generated, sometimes at the cost of a business person’s integrity. The characters of Kate and Joe Keller respectively embody these two different aspects: Kate is stuck in the past, almost mourning a son she cannot admit is dead, while Joe has benefitted financially but is emotionally bankrupt.

Besides the battles that killed soldiers, the pervasive corruption in wartime production created victims. Joe rationalizes his behavior as typical business practice: “If my money's dirty there ain't a clean nickel in the United States.” Yet he has allowed his...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 704 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Edith Sykes eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write1,721 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial