Margot (midnight_birth) wrote in margot_quotes,

All My Sons by Arthur Miller.


Title: All My Sons.
Author: Arthur Miller.
Genre: Fiction, plays, WWII.
Country: U.S.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 1947.
Summary: Joe Keller and Herbert Deever, partners in a machine shop during the war, turned out defective airplane parts, causing the deaths of many men. Deever was sent to prison, while Keller escaped punishment and became a wealthy man. In this commanding work, a love affair between Keller's son, George, and Ann Deever, Herbert's daughter and the sweetheart of George's brother whose plane went missing in the war, the bitterness of Herbert's son George, the inability of Kate Keller to accept his son is not coming back, and the reaction of a son to his father's guilt, escalate toward a shocking climax.

My rating: 7.5/10
My review:

♥ KELLER is nearing sixty. A heavy man of stolid mind and build, a business man these many years, but with the imprint of the machine-shop worker and boss still upon him. When he reads when he speaks, when he listens, it is with the terrible concentration of the uneducated man for whom there is still wonder in many commonly known things, a man whose judgements must be dredged out of experience and a peasant-like common sense. A man among men.

She is rounding forty, an overweight woman who fears it.

♥ KELLER: Well, that's what a war does. I had two sons, now I got one. It changed all the tallies. In my day when you had sons it was an honor. Today a doctor could make a million dollars if he could figure out a way to bring a boy into the world without a trigger finger.

♥ KELLER: You're always reading the book section and you never buy a book.
CHRIS: [coming down a settee]: I like to keep abreast of my ignorance.

♥ CHRIS: You remember, overseas, I was in command of a company?
ANN: Yeah, sure.
CHRIS: Well, I lost them.
ANN: How many?
CHRIS: Just about all.
ANN: Oh, gee!
CHRIS: It takes a little time to toss that off. Because they weren't just men. For instance, one time it'd been raining several days and this kid came to me, and gave me his last pair of dry socks. Put them in my pocket. That's only a little thing... but... that's the kind of guys I had. They didn't die; they killed themselves for each other. I mean that exactly; a little more selfish and they'd've been here today. And I got an idea - watching them go down. Everything was being destroyed, see, but it seemed to me that one new thing was made. A kind of... responsibility. Man for man. You understand me? -- To show that, to bring that on to the earth again like some kind of a monument and everyone would feel it standing there, behind him, and it would make a difference to him. [Pause] And then I came home and it was incredible. I... there was no meaning in it here; the whole thing to them was a kind of a - bus accident. I went to work with Dad, and that rat-race again. I felt... what you said... ashamed somehow. Because nobody was changed at all. It seemed to make suckers out of a of guys. I felt wrong to be alive, to open the bank-book, to drive the new car, to see the new refrigerator. I mean you can take those things out of a war, but when you drive that car you've got to know that it came out of the love a man can have for a man, you've got to be a little better because of that. Otherwise what you have it really loot, and there's blood on it. I didn't want to take any of it. And I guess that included you.

♥ MOTHER sits in chair downstage, stiffly, staring, seeing.

♥ MOTHER: [going upstage with him]: You don't realize how people can hate, Chris, they can hate so much they'll tear the world to pieces.

♥ SUE: You can never owe somebody without resenting them.

Two o'clock the following morning, MOTHER is discovered on the rise, rocking ceaselessly in a chair, staring at her thoughts.

♥ MOTHER: What do you mean... he's not coming back?
JIM: Oh, no, he'll come back. We all come back, Kate. These private little revolutions always die. The compromise is always made. In a peculiar way. Frank is right - every man does have a star. The star of one's honesty. And you spend your life groping for it, but once it's out it never lights again. I don't think he went very far. He probably just wanted to be alone to watch his star go out.

♥ MOTHER: Larry was your son too, wasn't he? You know he'd never tell you to do this.
KELLER [looking at letter in his hand]: Then what is this if it isn't telling me? Sure, he was my son. But I think to him they were all my sons. And I guess they were, I guess they were.

♥ MOTHER: What more can we be!
CHRIS: You can be better! Once and for all you can know there's a universe of people outside and you're responsible to it, and unless you know that you threw away your son because that's why he died.
Tags: 1940s - fiction, 20th century - fiction, 20th century - plays, american - fiction, american - plays, death (fiction), fiction, literature, plays, romance, suicide (fiction), world war ii lit

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