All my sons; Arthur Miller
INDIVIDUAL WRITTEN RESPONSE.
THE PLAY IN PERFORMANCE.
All my sons by Arthur Miller was written to be performed on stage. For a successful play, a director should take care of various things such as: the set of the story, lightening, music, sound effects, costumes, casting direction and backstage movements. All these things are the most important things about a stage performance.
This story is set during the American postwar in August of 1947, in the mid-west of the USA. Events occur between Sunday morning and a little after two o'clock on the following morning. “The stage is hedged on right and left by tall, closely planted poplars which lend the yard a secluded atmosphere. Upstage is filled with the back of the house and its open, unroofed porch which extends into the yard some six feet. At the right beside the house, the entrance of a driveway can be seen. (…) A garbage pail on the ground next floor to the porch steps, a wire leaf-burner near it.”
For the lightening there will be about four or five different focus points, that will be focusing different people or places depending on what is happening on the story. There will be one concentrated on the bench, one concentrated on the porch, another one on the table and the last one just in the front middle of the stage for the characters who will stand there. Then there will be a last light that will change depending on who is entering the scenario; it will move following the direction of the character.
There will be different types of music for each part of the story such as; dramatic, happy, suspicious… At the end of the book when Joe Keller commits suicide the music will be at first dramatic and then it will turn to sad and tragic. The music in each theatre performance tells a lot from what you are seeing and makes the audience to understand more what is going on and how may be the character fell, therefore it is very important to put the right music in each moment.
The cast is very important, as they are the ones who tell the story. The direction they go to and what they do during the whole story is very well explained by Arthur Miller so by following these instructions the characters will be able to do it. Characters should also face the audience always and avoid blocking other characters from audience view. They have to dress as the way they are described and fit into the paper they are given, so that the performance goes good. Each character would have to wear two different costumes, as the story happens during two different days. The clothing will be according to the time so the fact of the story happening in the 1940s and being in the postwar must be present. According to the age of each character, the type of clothing will also change. Also, the fact that is summer marks a difference on the type of clothes; light colours would be worn.
As it is a stage performance, there cannot be much sound effect; but some of them are necessary such as the shooting when Keller commits suicide. The music would cover most of the part of this job and other things are more important.
For the backstage movement, there should be more people working as backstage that will help the characters in case they have any short of problem such as make-up, costume or just telling them when they are on or not.
Due to all these points, All my sons by Arthur Miller could never be something else but a stage performance in a theatre not a simple book that you could read, and especially if you try to read it by yourself because there are too many characters and that could confuse you.
MAKING A JUDGEMENT.
The play All my sons was written by Arthur Miller; a writer from the 1910s who had a very successful career. He wrote this book right after the Second World War and the fact that most people lost everything they had and families were split up influenced a lot in the way the story is told. It also talks about the American dream and Joe Keller being representative of it.
In this book, you can see that war did not influence to the people in the same way. Joe Keller only cares about himself and his family how they can survive live their lives. “I ignore what I gotta ignore”. He is too occupied with his thoughts of how to make more money that he doesn't even have a good relation with his son and can't admit his mistakes.
On the other hand, Chris got affected by the war in a more different way; he cares about everyone else and is willing to help other people and talk to them instead of keeping up with his life. “The business doesn't inspire me”. His mum, Kate Keller can't admit the reality of his other son, Larry, who died during war. “I want you to act like he is coming back”.
The rest of the characters also change. When George comes back and sees that Lydia has moved on he goes really angry because he thought that she'd wait for him. Also, Ann comes back to the place she used to live because she wants to move on by marrying somebody and continue with her life.
What this book talks about the American dream is that; even though Joe Keller was an uneducated man, he had success in his business and therefore, he enough had money for maintaining a family. This success was based on his crime; as he sold lots of different engines that were not good and lot of men died and crushed their planes but he doesn't want to admit that he just tells everybody how successful their life was. This shows how America gave the change to anybody to success and get on with their lives pretending that war never happened but the way that Joe Keller spends it on was not good for him and for his family.
The story All my sons by Arthur Miller is a very powerful and entertaining story, that shows a selfish and self-interested society from the middle 1940s after the Second World War. The ending was very good as Chris realizes what his father is capable of and he feels that he didn't know his father, and the fact that he kills himself shows a man who has lived a lie his whole life and didn't realize or didn't want to realize until his son opens his eyes by telling him that he murdered his own son. “Three and half years…talking, talking. Now you tell me what you must do … This is how he died, now tell me where you belong”.
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