All My Sons Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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In All My Sons, to what extent do you hold Joe responsible for what happens to him? What was Joe's business, in terms of his responsibility as a provider for his family?

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There are different approaches to responsibility in Joe's characterization and the ethical responsibility for his actions.  Miller creates a construction in which the American Dream and the pursuit of material wealth at all costs is partly to blame.  Joe is a decent man, an everyman, who succumbs to the all encompassing social expectation of "The American Dream."  This condition is one where material comfort is valued above all.  Miller makes a clear argument that such a condition creates the realm where bad decisions are made.

However, it is clear that Miller's work acquires tragic dimensions because Joe is responsible for what happens to him.  Joe's business revolves around manufacturing airline parts to be used for plans in the war.  He was...

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