Anyone doing !"All My Sons" by Arthur Miller Watch

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#21
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#21
does anyone know for all my sons if you're allowed to have things underlined in the text, or does it have to be a completely blank copy? also, would we be likely to get a question about someone such as george, because it really doesnt seem there would be that much to say!
I'm dong The Miller's Tale and All My Sons, and we have been allowed to annotate the text. They could possibly ask you to compare a major character, such as Mother, against someone like George, as a minor character...
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tasha_ell
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#22
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oh okay thanks! hmm, comparing a major character with him wouldnt be as bad, i just didnt wanna get one on just him. thanks again, and good luck everyone!!!
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esmaraldo
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#23
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This thread seems to have died. But surely I'm not the only person doing All my sons this year!

Garh. I have an essay due in on monday. "How does Miller create and atmosphere of calmness and normality and how does he at the same time indicate that all is not well?"

And compared with Spies this is so much harder. Perhaps it's because it's my first essay for the play, and I don't know it as well.
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lil k
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#24
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#24
my exams coming up at the end of may. and i agree, i do feel like all my sons 'appears' too easy. my teacher keeps saying i need to find a 'deeper' meaning! could some-one help me with this please. i thought the meaning was quite obvious!!
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lil k
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#25
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oh and is anyone doin poems by thomas hardy??? heellpp!
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emsy88
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#26
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I am doing All my sons and The Millers Tale for Module Three. I have an essay on the use of stage directions if anyone has any notes?
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esmaraldo
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#27
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I don't really take notes in English. I just scribble illegibly on my text which is hell at revision as atm I'm like : wtf did I write?

But anyway, on the subject of stage directions...um...we haven't specifically looked at it. But there is a lot of symbolism in the setting. Miller place huge emphasis on staging as it allowed him to bring in wider feelings of contrast, and link things that speech doesn't. Like sometimes how a character says something is more important thant what they say. Like the tense pauses. Or when a character moves toword and away from someone- this could show power or control, or give a indication of how they feel in the conversation.

The question's quite general...do I don't really know how to give examples.
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helz_belz
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#28
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I found this really interesting essay on 'All My Sons' via Google. It's an adobe file and there were a few things from it that i put in "small" writing inside the play's blank pages. Hope this helps :cool:
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Vesicle
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#29
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(Original post by helz_belz)
I found this really interesting essay on 'All My Sons' via Google. It's an adobe file and there were a few things from it that i put in "small" writing inside the play's blank pages. Hope this helps :cool:
This is really strange...I swear I've seen it before, though I don't remember ever going about trying to find essays.

I'm really struggling with the Texts in Context, probably because All My Sons and Chaucer don't interest me as much. No that's probably not true...but I've had a year to absorbe Spies, and I really feel inable to write as fuently about "the Millers".

Would anyone be up to discussing themes and alternative arguements?
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helz_belz
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#30
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(Original post by Vesicle)
This is really strange...I swear I've seen it before, though I don't remember ever going about trying to find essays.

I'm really struggling with the Texts in Context, probably because All My Sons and Chaucer don't interest me as much. No that's probably not true...but I've had a year to absorbe Spies, and I really feel inable to write as fuently about "the Millers".

Would anyone be up to discussing themes and alternative arguements?
Looking for essays and quotes, like the adobe file i posted helps me with context and criticism.

There are so many different themes. I find quotes on critics/the author for my context and put it in "small" writing somewhere in my text.

Eg. i had a question on 'All My Sons' as a practice mock. I can't remember the title but it was to do with keller's suicide and greek tragedies.

I had a quote which was relevant (at least i think) (via google, as always) from Arthur Miller, "the structure of a play is always the story of how the birds came home to roost".

I had to look up the meaning and it is being eventually punished for an earlier bad action, so i could link this to the question!!

Hope this is an idea that some people could use too ...
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Miss Melancholie
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#31
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(Original post by mixnmatch)
Millers tale actually is fine. Just written loads in back.
Be very careful. Exam board allows 'minimal' annotations in the text. You can't have full sentences in it or you could be disqualified. Someone in my school had his book taken away from him during the exam because he had what the exams officer considered to be too many notes in it.

Anyway, back to All My Sons, as that's the subject of the thread People have mentioned the themes of money, war and family. Here's some thoughts:

Money
The first inkling we have that the play is interested in money is in the introduction when Miller says how much the Keller's house would have cost, "...perhaps fifteen thousand (dollars) in the early twenties when it was built." Money was all part of the 'American Dream'; in fact it was key to it. (The American Dream is another theme: Keller seems to be living the American Dream, having come from nothing to build up a respected and successful business, but it proves to be built on weak foundations and eventually tears his family apart.)
Chris finds it difficult to adjust to civilian life and shocks his father by saying that "the business doesn't inspire me." To Keller, who has built his whole life around the pursuit of money, this must seem like blasphemy! As he tells Mother, he was sent out at the age of ten to make his way; that was how "you learnt to make a buck" and then you went on to expand until you had a business that was the envy of friends and neighbours. Even when he returned from the jail, his first thought was to get back into industry so that he would once more be respected. Chris, however, looks on the money as tainted because he feels guilty for being alive whilst other men died. It is left to Annie to tell him that he has a right to it: "...and the money, there's nothing wrong in your money." Chris tells her: "Annie, Annie... I'm going to make a fortune for you!", only for her to respond, "What'll I do with a fortune?"
The neighbour, Sue Bayliss, is the character who seems the most obsessed with money. She talks about it constantly as if her family is very poor and if Jim does not attend a patient right away she counts the dollars they might lose. She is jealous of the money that Chris makes. "He's got money. That's important, you know," but Ann does not agree. Sue persists, "It makes a difference." She is worried that Chris might influence Jim into doing medical research, which is not as well paid as general practice. Her desire for money is more important to her than her husband's happiness and sense of self-worth.
When the truth about Keller's guilt comes out, he tells them: "You lay forty years into a business and they knock you out in five minutes. What could I do, let them take forty years, let them take my life away?" To him that was the worst that could happen, even worse than causing the deaths of twenty-one pilots. "Who worked for nothin' in that war? ... It's dollars and cents, nickels and dimes; war and peace, it's nickels and dimes, what's clean?" To him it wasn't bad to want money. He said he did it all for the family, but at the end of the play there is the question: is that the truth, or was it all for himself and his own glorification?

War
The USA joined WW2 in 1941 after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Until then, the average American had no idea what it was like to be involved in a full-scale war. Even after they joined the war, the Americans didn't suffer the hardships of rationing, bombing raids, etc. that were a daily feature of wartime life in Europe. Most importantly, there was no threat of invasion for the USA. When soldiers came to Europe from the US it was a real culture shock for them and they faced hostility from people who were angry it took America so long to join in! It's important to remember this when reading the play.
For those Americans who did face conflict (Chris, Jim and George in the play) it was a life-changing event. In the play, Chris finds it difficult to talk about his experiences even after three years, although he tries with Ann. He says, "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." Many veterans felt that the people at home in the States had no concept or understanding of what had really happened overseas. The true horror of the war was never fully conveyed to the American people. Only if you understand this can you appreciate the turmoil endured by Chris and the gulf that existed between him and his father.
To Joe the war was a way of making money. He saw no wrong in the fact that lots of people were doing it and until he shipped out the defective cylinder heads he was no doubt doing some good for the war effort. It was the strain of keeping up production that finally floored him. "...what could I do! ... your stuff is no good; they close you up, they tear up your contracts, what the hell's it to them?" Chris sees no honour in it. "We used to shoot a man who acted like a dog, but honour was there, you were protecting something. But here? This is the land of the great big dogs, you don't love a man here, you eat him! That's the principle; the only one we live by - it just happened to kill a few people this time, that's all."
Sometimes the fact that the family has lost Larry to the war can be forgotten in the tension of the text and Kate's obsessive insistence that Larry is in fact alive can distract from her actual grief.

Family
Towards the end of the play Mother says, "Joe, Joe... It don't excuse it that you did it for the family." That is what has been at the heart of it all: the family, emcompassing all sorts of relationships, fathers and sons, mothers and sons, husbands and wives, all in a melting pot, each answerable to one another.
Chris tries to be a good son to his parents, and Ann is amazed at how well he gets on with them: fetching aspirin for Mother when her head hurts, defending his father to George. When he is proved wrong he says, "I never saw you as a man. I saw you as my father." In the beginning Chris's relationship with his father was a loving one. He admired him for picking himself up after he came home from prison, for starting again and facing up to the neighbours when he returned.
Ann, however, finds that she cannot admire her father and surprises the Kellers when she tells them that she has had no contact with her father since the news of Larry's disappearance. "Then I realised. It's wrong to pity a man like that. Father or no father, there's only one way to look at him." Even when George arrives to confront them with the truth, she finds it hard to believe her father is innocent and she refuses to leave Chris.
Throughout the play, Keller maintains that he did everything in the name of the family and he cannot understand Chris's reluctance to accept that. When Mother says, "There's something bigger than the family to him," Keller replies, "Nothin's bigger than that... I'm his father and he's my son, and if there's something bigger than that I'll put a bullet in my head!" (which he eventually does, proving there IS something bigger than the family - Miller's pronouncement that life is about society, not individuals). Right until the end of the play, Keller tries to justify what he did because it was for the sake of the family.
Mother tries to make him see that if he explains things to Chris, his son might be able to forgive him, but still Keller remains obtuse. "What must I be forgiven? ... For you Katie, for both of you, that's all I ever lived for..." It is not until Chris reads the letter to him that he finally sees the truth and he admits, "Sure, he was my son. But I think to him they were all my sons."

Hope that helps!!
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Elchi_1
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#32
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I think you can underline the text in the exam, but you may have to rub it out at the end when your done. The only thing you could write about George i think is his relationship with Lydia, and how he left, theres not much you can say. Also if a question did come up, you could also talk about his relationship with Anne and Kate.
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Miss Melancholie
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#33
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(Original post by Elchi_1)
I think you can underline the text in the exam, but you may have to rub it out at the end when your done.
You can underline and write the odd word. The exam board specifies 'minimal' annotation. Full sentences are not acceptable.
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Wedgie
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#34
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Our school doesn't take the books in and our guideline was as long as we do not stick extra things in or add post it notes etc you can write in the text as much as you like.

Reguarding All My Sons and what could possibly come up they have already had questions on the opening and ending, Chris, peripheral characters, moral compremises, generation gap and fatal absense of humour. As there have only been three previous exams on the subject thats all we have.

I'm also doing Spies, and the Miller's Tale and personally I find All My Sons the most difficult as with Spies although the text is utter rubbish you can talk about a lot of symbolism and reguarding Chaucer I really like it...call me a nerd lol

I know what you mean about writing for 3 hours straight I will have a claw for a hand.

Thanks Miss Melancholie for those ideas, few things I didn't think of.

Amz xxx
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(",)
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#35
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same here..my teacher was urging everyone to use all the blank pages to write as much as possible
im finding all my sons quite hard when we had our mock just after easter i had no idea what i was doing..half way thru i realised i picked the wrong question. but managed to get a C... i guess that's not too bad!
thanks Miss Melancholie for the post on "money, war and family"
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Miss Melancholie
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#36
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I'm really worried about the guys who are saying their teachers are telling them to write as much as possible in the text. The Head of English at my school is an examiner and she told us all "no full sentences". The exam board say minimal annotation and if they find out you've all got writing in your texts you could fail. There was someone at my school a couple of years back who had his Chaucer text taken from him because he had too many notes in it. Please be really careful.
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hateexams22
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#37
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Im struggling big time, next friday I've got six bloomin' hours of AS eams, including :confused: Spies, All my Sons, and Thomas Hardy :confused: all in ne morning- followed by two geography one in the aftertoon. There aren't enough hours in the day to do all that revision!! Does anyone have any help they could give me about essay structure?? Apparently thats my weak point! Any help would be muchos appreciated!
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Em906
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#38
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#38
hey,
im also doing all my sons, millers tale and spies. i think spies and millers tale will be ok but all my sons is so boring! when i have to write about it i feel like im just repeating myself.
is there more to say about the context other than just war and the wall street crash and great depression???
for essay structure i just make as many bullet points as possible on the question that are relevant and number them putting similar or linking points together.
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Elchi_1
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#39
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Hey, im also doing spies, all my sons and the millers tale. All my sons is ok, as there really is loads to say, similar to spies, you can really talk about anything, but then link it to the old man stefan. Remember in all my sons to talk about stage directions as it shows emotions and it empathises what cannot be said in dialogue. also it provides subtext, so the poplars symbolise isolation and secrets. The repetition of phrases is also important, as it links back to kellers mistake. also dont forget the small characters such as lydia, sue or frank, as they may come up in a question, as there hasnt been one for a while. hope it helps. good luck for next friday.
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TigerPoses
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#40
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#40
I'm really starting to wish I'd listened in Lit lessons,
Although according to my teacher one of the main themes is death (okay, thats pretty obvious) which I guess links into war. If anyone wants me to I can go find my notes about it.
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