All My Sons (Penguin Classics)
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Joe Keller and Steve Deever, partners in a machine shop during World War II, turned out defective airplane parts, causing the deaths of many men. Deever was sent to prison while Keller escaped punishment and went back to business, making himself very wealthy in the ensuing years. In Miller’s work of tremendous power, a love affair between Keller's son, Chris, and Ann Deever, Steve’s daughter, the bitterness of George Keller, who returns from the war to find his father in prison and his father's partner free, and the reaction of a son to his father's guilt escalate toward a climax of electrifying intensity.
Winner of the Drama Critics' Award for Best New Play in 1947, All My Sons established Arthur Miller as a leading voice in the American theater. All My Sons introduced themes that thread through Miller's work as a whole: the relationships between fathers and sons and the conflict between business and personal ethics. This edition features an introduction by Christopher Bigsby.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Peters’ Connections (1999), Echoes Down the Corridor: Collected Essays, 1944–2000, and On Politics and the Art of Acting (2001). He has twice won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and in 1949 he won the Pulitzer Prize. He was the recipient of the National Book Foundation 2001 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, he was awarded with the prize Prince of Asturias of Letters in 2002, and in 2003 was awarded the Jerusalem Prize. He died in 2005. FOR ELIA KAZAN
that! CHRIS [sits facing GEORGE]: Tell me, George. What happened? The court record was good enough for you all these years, why isn’t it good now? Why did you believe it all these years? GEORGE [after a slight pause]: Because you believed it… . That’s the truth, Chris. I believed everything, because I thought you did. But today I heard it from his mouth. From his mouth it’s altogether different than the record. Anyone who knows him, and knows your father, will believe it from his mouth. Your
got a shirt that’ll go right with that suit. MOTHER: Size fifteen and a half, right, George? GEORGE: Is Lydia … ? I mean—Frank and Lydia coming? MOTHER: I’ll get you a date that’ll make her look like a … [She starts upstage.] GEORGE [laughs]: No, I don’t want a date. CHRIS: I know somebody just for you! Charlotte Tanner! [He starts for the house.] KELLER: Call Charlotte, that’s right. MOTHER: Sure, call her up. [CHRIS goes into house.] ANN: You go up and pick out a shirt and tie. GEORGE
suggested, have given way to psychology—his own flirting with mysticism revealing, he thought, one of the problems with his earlier plays, such as The Golden Years and The Man Who Had All the Luck, at least so far as Broadway was concerned—but Kate still remains a powerful figure. The relationship between father and son may move to the center of attention, but she holds a key to the action. It is her will that has sustained them and, in a sense, her desperate necessity that has infantilized them
FRANK: Nothin’. Walking off my breakfast. [Looks up at the sky] That beautiful? Not a cloud. KELLER [looks up]: Yeah, nice. FRANK: Every Sunday ought to be like this. KELLER [indicating the sections beside him]: Want the paper? FRANK: What’s the difference, it’s all bad news. What’s today’s calamity? KELLER: I don’t know, I don’t read the news part any more. It’s more interesting in the want ads. FRANK: Why, you trying to buy something? KELLER: No, I’m just interested. To see what people