Chris is a character in which the audience can really relate to, the audience only knows what Chris knows, both of them don’t know the real truth. Miller uses Chris to convey the real message out of this story. Chris a character who believes his father and is a very innocent in the beginning of the play. The truth of the cylinder heads effects Chris so much because the people who Keller killed were like brothers to him.
Chris refers to the soldiers in war as his brothers because the war experience to him was very moving for him, Chris was amazed to see the courage and love which each soldier gave to each other, and how he was shocked to see that the same courage and love wasn’t seen back at home after the war. On page 66, he calls the soldiers as ‘his boys’ which is a reflection of how much he cared for them.
Miller uses Chris to show how businesses made profit out of the war, how they wrongly used innocent soldiers to profit from. . Such as on page 61 when George says how Steve would like to get every man who made money out of the war, Chris replies ‘He’ll need a lot of bullets’ so agreeing with him. Miller is very anti-capitalist, and he makes Chris anti-capitalist as well, he want to make Chris a person who attacks people who want to make money out of doing wrong, that is why he didn’t want his name on his dad’s business. Miller wants to use Chris to show how corrupt the American dream really is.
Chris can be viewed at being a character who never deceives himself or others, however this isn’t entirely true. On page 76 he admits that he suspected that his father was responsible for the soldier’s deaths but still lies and deceives himself to George, ”I suspected my father and I did nothing about it’. Miller dramatises the theme that sooner or later the chickens will come home to roost very well. He does it very effectively and uses a variety of techniques which makes it effective. If you refer to the word ‘when’ in the actual theme, relates to the point that eventually the consequences of actions are going t come back to haunt the character. This idea of something appearing later on in the story engages the audience who wait to see what the other character reactions are to emerging consequences.
Another way in which he makes the dramatising effective is by stopping us in particular parts in a crucial conversation which is likely to give us the vital information which we need to make full sense and understanding of the play. The stopping in a middle of a heated conversation is known as a diversionary tactic, Miller uses them by introducing new characters who stop a engaging conversation between two of the main characters in the play. An example of the use of a diversionary tactic is shown on page 53. This is where George has entered the scene with Anne and Chris, at first the tension is very low and the conversation is very light-hearted, but it soon switches when George asks Anne whether she has married Chris yet. The topic of marriage increases the tension in the scene, and is aided by the short and sharp verses which both George and Chris say.
The argument escalates even further when Keller is brought in to the topic of conversation, ‘Your Dad took everything we have’. The audience become more engaged with the conversation as George demands to see Keller, so that the confrontation which the audience have been wanting for can now happen but Miller holds the audience back and uses a diversionary tactic by introducing mother. Mother quickly reduces the tension and relaxes the atmosphere by referring to George in an informal and friendly way, “Georgie”. George decides to change the topic of conversation which he previously had with Chris and start talking light-heartedly to Mother, he decides to be more friendly as he doesn’t want to alarm or upset such a fragile and disturbed women.
Another effective technique which Miller uses, is the use of stage directions, they are used to portray a characters positions and reactions. They are used to enhance the suspicions within the audience, examples of them are ‘Crossing to them rapidly’, ‘They wait’ and ‘Shaken and therefore angered’. These specific examples are used just before George enters the scene, and makes the audience question to why the other characters have those stage directions.