Instructions for All My Sons Project

Categories: All My Sons

General Instructions

Keep all notes, papers, drafts, etc. together in a folder. Attach them to the end of the project. 1. Answer all the questions provided in the instructions in the body of the project. 2. Find and print at least 4 articles in English that deal with the play All My Sons. 3. Your project will be typed in 12 point Times New Roman (except headings). 2 line spacing. 4. Do not put the pages in plastic sleeves.

5. Attach all the articles you have read as well as all your drafts to the end of the project under the heading of Appendices.

6. Spell-check your work, and proofread (בדקו היטב את האיות ואת מבנה המשפטים) 7. It is recommended to work in pairs.

Useful sites:

Step I - Introduction- (הקדמה)
Read the play.

Write an introduction explaining what you think the play All My Sons is about.

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In which period of history do you think it takes place? Where do you think it happens? Could it happen in another setting (time and place)? Explain your answer in the form of a composition of 100- 120 words.

Step II - Work Page for “Studying Arthur Miller” (fill it up, print, and add to your project) |ID Card for the setting of the play | |Author: | |Time |Place | |Month: |Area: | |Year: |Country: | |Days: | | |Approximate hour of Act I: | | |Approximate hour of Act II: | | |Approximate hour of Act III: | |

|List 3 events that occur before the play begins: | |1.

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| |2. | |3. | |Write a list of the characters: | |Major characters |Minor characters |Important characters never seen on stage | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | |

Step III - Historical Background

Part A - Complete the following sentences according to the articles you have read: What was life like in the USA during the Great Depression, when Joe Keller was a young adult? Answer the following questions according to the passage: 1. What role did the radio play in American people’s lives during the Great Depression? (Answer in 3-4 sentences) 2. When people remember “the good old days”, they do not always remember them exactly as they were. Write a list of about 15 adjectives (“description” words) that are used in the article to describe life then.

Part B: The Great Depression

Answer the following question in at least 150 words: What was life like in the USA during the Great Depression, when Joe Keller was a young adult?

Translate into Hebrew:
|English |Hebrew |English |Hebrew Hebrew | |Great Depression | |to calm | | |inward | |economic | | |hearth | |support | | |chores | |relief | | |fireside chats | |stimulate | | |informal | |recovery | | |inaugural address | |campaign speech | |

An Article: The Great Depression

During the Great Depression, radio programs and newspaper features made new connections among American families, offering instruction, entertainment and encouragement. DURING THE 1930S, AMERICANS TURNED INWARD, TO REDISCOVER HEARTH AND HOME. Brought together by the hard times, the family was very important to them. There was, as Dorothy put it in the 1939 film version of "The Wizard of Oz," no place like home. And, as the joke said, home was the one place they couldn't throw you out.

Today, people remember the hungry '30s as the time they never locked their doors and everyone managed with what they had, sharing what little they had. Old folks today remember their Depression community as "one big family," their round of chores as "kinda fun." In city and country, local families -- Chen, Jackson, Nilsson, Sanchez, Harui, McNeil, Morelli -- shared many experiences. After supper, families gathered around their kitchen tables to play the new games Scrabble and Monopoly. In their living rooms, family members leaned toward the speaker of a big radio cabinet, listening to dance music, or radio plays. Station KJR broadcast President Franklin Roosevelt's fireside chats explaining his hopes for the New Deal.

Historical Background

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt (F.D.R.) was elected to the presidency in 1932, he promised that he would make the American people believe in their government again and to bring America out of the Great Depression. In his first inaugural address Roosevelt said that "we have nothing to fear but fear itself." His aims were to calm the economic fears of Americans, develop policies to solve the problems of the Great Depression, and gain the support of the American people for his programs. What helped him was that the entire country was behind him, something which other Presidents didn’t have. The citizens of the United States were ready for a change. Immediately after his election, Roosevelt began to develop a set of programs to give relief, create jobs, and stimulate economic recovery for the U.S. These programs became known as the New Deal, a reference taken from a campaign speech in which he promised a "new deal for the American people."

While developing programs to help America get out of the Great Depression, Roosevelt also needed to calm the fears and restore the confidence of Americans and to gain their support for the programs of the New Deal. One of the ways FDR did this was through the radio, the most direct way to reach the American people. He was the first president to “talk” directly to the American citizens in such a personal, informal way. During the 1930s almost every home had a radio, and families typically spent several hours a day together, listening to their favorite programs. F.D.R. called his radio talks about topics of public concern "Fireside Chats." Informal and relaxed, the talks made Americans feel as if President Roosevelt was talking directly to them. Roosevelt continued to use fireside chats throughout his presidency to address the fears and concerns of the American people as well as to inform them of the positions and actions taken by the U.S. government.

Adapted from:

Step IV – General Questions

Answer the following questions: (Use the text and the information provided in the articles you have read.) Each answer should be up to 100 words.

1. What is the function of the tree in the play? ( Acts I and II) 2. Describe the relations between Jim Bayliss and his wife. ( Acts I and II) 3. Why does Joe Keller commit suicide? What does he understand at the end of the play?( Act III) 4. What is the importance of Mother's slip of the tongue (פליטת פה )? 5. Describe the relations between Keller and Chris. ( Acts I, II and III) 6. Idealism versus Phoney idealism in the play ( Larry's versus Chris' and Ann's). ( Act III) 7. What are the three versions of what happened in the plant when the cracked cylinder heads were shipped out? ( Acts II and III) 8. What are Chris' ideals and what are Keller's? ( Acts II and III)

Step V - Bridging Text and Context

Answer the following questions: (Use the information provided in the articles above and below and in the sites provided) 1. Joe Keller, the father in the play you are about to read, is a product (תוצר) of the Great Depression. What type of characteristics would you expect in a person who has grown up in the atmosphere that you have just read about? Write a short paragraph describing the type of person you think he will be, and explain why. (50 words) 2. How did World War II influence the different characters in the play? (150 words). 3. This play shows the destructive effects of dishonesty. Discuss this statement in relation to two of the main characters. (200 words)

Studying Arthur Miller's Play All My Sons – Background Information

The material here (in addition to the articles read ) will help you prepare for the final work you will do on the play All My Sons. In pairs, go through all of the material thoroughly, look up the quotes and discuss their importance. In the final work, you will be asked to relate to some of the quotes and discuss their importance in the play.


The action of the play is set in August 1947, in the Midwest of the U.S.A. The events depicted occur between Sunday morning and a little after two o'clock the following morning.

Joe Keller, the chief character, is a man who loves his family above all else, and has sacrificed everything, including his honor, in his struggle to make the family prosperous. He is now sixty-one. He has lost one son in the war, and is keen to see his remaining son, Chris, marry. Chris wishes to marry Ann, the former fiancée of his brother, Larry. Their mother, Kate, believes Larry still to be alive. It is this belief which has enabled her, for three and a half years, to support Joe by concealing her knowledge of a dreadful crime he has committed.

Arthur Miller, the playwright, found the idea for Joe's crime in a true story, which occurred during the Second World War: a manufacturer knowingly shipped out defective parts for tanks. These had suffered mechanical failures which had led to the deaths of many soldiers. The fault was discovered, and the manufacturer convicted. In All My Sons, Miller examines the morality of the man who places his narrow responsibility to his immediate family above his wider responsibility to the men who rely on the integrity of his work.

The background to the action

Three and a half years before the events of the play, Larry Keller was reported missing in action, while flying a mission off the coast of China.

His father, Joe Keller, was head of a business which made airplane engine parts. When, one night, the production line began to turn out cracked cylinder heads, the night foreman alerted Joe's deputy manager, Steve Deever as he arrived at work. Steve telephoned Joe at home, to ask what to do. Worried by the lost production and not seeing the consequences of his decision, Joe told Steve to weld over the cracks. He said that he would take responsibility for this, but could not come in to work, as he had influenza. Several weeks later twenty-one airplanes crashed on the same day, killing the pilots.

Investigation revealed the fault in the cylinder heads, and Steve and Joe were arrested and convicted. On appeal, Joe denied Steve's (true) version of events, convinced the court he knew nothing of what had happened, and was released from prison. Before his last flight, Larry wrote to his fiancée, Ann, Steve's daughter. He had read of his father's and Steve's arrest. Now he was planning suicide.

Three and a half years later, Ann has told no-one of this letter. Kate Keller knows her husband to be guilty of the deaths of the pilots and has convinced herself that Larry is alive. She will not believe him dead, as this involves the further belief that Joe has caused his own son's death, an intolerable thought. She expects Larry to return, and keeps his room exactly as it was when he left home. She supports Joe's deception. In return she demands his support for her hope that Larry will come back. Ann and her brother, George, have disowned their father, believing him guilty. But George has gone at last to visit his father in jail, and Steve has persuaded him of the true course of events.

The play opens on the following (Sunday) morning; by sheer coincidence, Ann has come to visit the Kellers. For two years, Larry's brother, Chris, has written to her. Now he intends to propose to her, hence the invitation. She is in love with him and has guessed his intention. On the Saturday night there is a storm; a tree, planted as a memorial to Larry, is snapped by the wind. Kate wakes from a dream of Larry and, in the small hours, enters the garden to find the tree broken.

Joe Keller - an ordinary Joe or representative type

Western drama originates in the Greek tragedies of Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides, all of whom wrote in Athens in the 5th century B.C. In these plays the tragic hero or protagonist (= first or most important actor) commits an offence, often unknowingly. He (occasionally she) must then learn his fault, suffer and perhaps die. In this way, the gods are vindicated (shown to be just) and the moral order of the universe restored. (This is a gross simplification of an enormous subject.)

These plays, and those of Shakespeare two thousand years later, are about kings, dukes or great generals. Why? Because in their day, these individuals were thought to embody or represent the whole people. Nowadays, we do not see even kings in this way. When writers want to show a person who represents a nation or class, they typically invent a fictitious “ordinary” person, the Man in the Street or Joe Public. In Joe Keller, Arthur Miller creates just such a representative type. Joe is a very ordinary man, decent, hard-working and charitable, a man no one could dislike. But, like the protagonist of the ancient drama, he has a flaw or weakness. This, in turn, causes him to act wrongly. He is forced to accept responsibility - his suicide is necessary to restore the moral order of the universe, and allow his beloved son, Chris, to live, free from guilt.

Outline of events

• Autumn, 1943: Joe allows Steve to supply the The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) with faulty cylinder heads, for their planes • Late autumn, 1943: Twenty-one planes crash; Joe and Steve arrested • November 25, 1943: Larry (having read in newspaper about father) crashes plane deliberately off coast of China • 1944?: Joe makes successful appeal; Steve remains in prison • 1945: Chris Keller starts to write to Ann Deever

• August, 1947: Ann visits Chris; George (unknown to Ann) visits Steve • A Saturday in August, 1947: Larry's memorial blown down • A Sunday in August, 1947: Opening of the play

Step VI – Closing

Summary - write a summary of your project. ( 100-150 words)
Reflection - write your own reflections or personal opinion ( 100-150 words). You may write how much you enjoyed writing your project, what was the easiest / the most difficult / enjoyable part, if it has improved any of the skills you have used for this project (reading /writing / computer etc.) and any other ideas and suggestions. Step VII – Bibliography

Write a bibliography which should include at least 4 articles read. Be certain it is complete and accurate. It must be arranged alphabetically. The first page is the Cover Page ((דף שער– and it must include: The name of the project.

The school’s name (Yehud Comprehensive High School)
Your name/class (Handed in by ….)
Your teacher’s name (Teacher's Name…)
Date the project was handed in.
The second page must be the Table of Contents and after it will come the rest of the project.

This is a Checklist for the Project Work:

|The following are included in the project:
|Yes | | |Front page and table of contents. | | | |Step I - Introduction | | | |Step II - Work Page for “Studying Arthur Miller” | | | |Step III - Part A and part B | | | |Step IV – General Questions | | | |Step V - Bridging Text and Context | | | |Step VI – Closing | | | |Step VII – Bibliography | | | |Appendices-All drafts and articles should be added at the end of the project. | | | |Check and correct capital letters, spelling, grammar, and punctuation. | | | |Submit the project on time. | |

Step VII – Oral Presentation
Prepare your oral presentation (Appendix 4- criteria for Oral Presentation) Present your project. (3 minutes)
Introduce your project:
1) What the topic is
2) What you learned while doing this project about the following: a. Doing a research project in English.
b. About the topic, itself.
c. Skills needed while doing a research project. d. Did you know anything about the topic before you started working on it? Body of presentation:
1) What were the main issues that you researched with regard to your topic?
2) What did you learn about each issue?
3) What issues did you learn about from other members of your group?
4) Name two sources you used.
5) Where / how did you find your sources?

1) What is your opinion of your project? Did you do a good job? Why / Why not?
2) What did you enjoy about it the most?
3) What aspect did you find the most difficult?
4) Is there anything you would change in the way you worked? 5) What else could you research / learn about your topic?

Cite this page

Instructions for All My Sons Project. (2017, May 21). Retrieved from

Instructions for All My Sons Project
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