Conflict in All My Sons
The conflict in the play “All My Sons” in embodied by two different sets of values. The older generation represented by Joe and Kate strongly believed in family values and Pursue of the American dream at any cost. In contradiction, Joe and Anne express the younger generation’s ethics and ideals clearly shown in the thoughts of idealism that money is not the most important thing in life. Even though the younger generation’s ideals are sometimes thought of as being irrational and in conflict with reality, all throughout the play their validity is greater.
Many times in parents-child relationships the parents have a very different view on things than the child they had raised. Most of these gaps are produced as a consequence of the different times they have grown in. In the play “All My Sons” the diversity between the two generations with two sets of ideals are mostly not a result of generation gap but a result of greediness and age. Many people when they are young see the world from a more optimistic point of view and that is true for Chris and Anne. As people get old and have their own kids they are thought of to be more rational in their actions in order to protect their children. Joe Keller worked his whole life trying to create a better future for his sons, but at what cost? Arthur Miller’s main point in the play is that people should look beyond their inner circle of society. Joe chose to ignore whatever does not concern his little circle.
Although optimism is clearly shown in Chris’ words his ideals are not to be mixed with dreams for they could be a reality. All throughout the play Chris is convincing people to believe in his reality. Some of them, the Doctor for example, believe that Chris is right and a life that is not so money centered is possible. Others, the Doctor’s wife for example, on the other hand, do no take Chris seriously because of his young age and poor experience in carrying out his own ideas. She expresses that by saying that Chris should go and work on his own before he preaches others. Her disagreement about her husband working in research is excused with a money issue. This shows the reader once again that the parent generation in this play, who are supposed to be representing the American Dream, chose to give up happiness for money. Do American ideals not include “pursuit of happiness”? Chris believed his father to be a ethical man and he had a great deal of trust in him, when it came to a point where that trust was lost, he thought of losing hope in his morals as well. The readers of the play know that even though Chris thought about it in a moment of weakness he would not forget his ethics and therefore would never do something that he believes to be wrong. There is no point of Chris trying to change his mind because the passion he speaks in about these ideals will never die.
Chris and Anne did not have their own family yet, which was an excuse for the older generation to...