What is the significance of money in the play All My Sons?

Money has great significance in the play All My Sons, as it provides the motivation for Joe Keller's morally objectionable actions. Joe knowingly shipped defective plane parts to the military, because he wanted to make as much money as possible. The love of money entered his soul and corrupted it completely.

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The significance of money in the play is to show the downfalls of pursuing it and the compromised and sometimes unethical things that the pursuit of money can drive people to do. Money is contrasted with the more esteemed and prized aspects of life such as family. In fact, Chris even tells his father at one point that if he has “to grub for money all day long,” he at least wants his evenings to be “beautiful.” Thus, there is a clear contrast between money and beauty. As for beauty, Chris elaborates,

I want a family, I want some kids, I want to build something that I can give myself to.

This implies that the significance of money is that it spoils people’s dreams of attaining beauty and true happiness. Characters like Chris believe that the so-called American Dream is artificial and illusory, essentially smoke and mirrors. Joe even acknowledges that. Having attained money, he has not fulfilled his dreams and is “in last place again.” He says,

I don't know, once upon a time I...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1052 words.)

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