All My Sons: activities before reading the play

In Literaute class, Pat told us to check her blog and answers the different tasks she posted. These are my answers:


Ten important facts about Arthur Miller:

Considered one of the greatest American playwrights of the 20th century

-His best-known plays include ‘All My Sons,’ ‘The Crucible’ and the Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘Death of a Salesman.’

-For Miller, it was important to place “the common man” at the centre of a tragedy.

-Miller was born in Harlem, New York, on October 17, 1915, to an immigrant family of Polish and Jewish descent.

-Miller was shaped by the Great Depression, which brought financial ruin onto his father, a small manufacturer, and demonstrated to the young Miller the insecurity of modern existence. 

-After graduating from high school, he started working and was able to save enough money to attend the University of Michigan.

-Miller’s career got off to a rocky start. Although his next play,Death of a Salesman’, became one of the most famous American plays of its period. Some years later, his play ‘All My Sons’, was also a hit in 1947, running for almost a full year on Broadway and earning Miller his first Tony Award for Best Author. 

-Miller married actress and Hollywood sex symbol Marilyn Monroe. Miller and Monroe’s high-profile marriage placed the playwright in the Hollywood spotlight. They later divorced.

-In his later career, Miller continued to explore societal and personal issues that probed the American psyche, though critical and commercial responses to the work didn’t garner the acclaim of his earlier productions. 

-On February 10, 2005, Miller died of heart failure at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, surrounded by Barley, family and friends. He was 89 years old.




“All My Sons” is the title of the play you are about to read1. Arthur Miller wanted his play to have universal appeal. Even though you do not know the story yet, can you imagine how this title might connect with a message that has universal significance? In other words, “whose sons” might be “all my sons”?


In my opinion, as I do not know the story yet, Arthur Miller’s play title ‘All My Sons’, might be connected with a message that has universal significance. This message refers to God talking to people as all his sons. As in different quotations from the Bible humans are called as Godfather’s Sons, I suppose that Arthur Miller refers to us (humanity) when he says ‘All My Sons’.


Answer the following questions:

  • How would you define a responsible person?
  • Are you a responsible person? Why or why not? Give examples of people you know in your personal life or in the public domain who are responsible. How do these individuals support your definition?
  • How does one learn to become a responsible person?
    Who are the “teachers” and where do we find them in our lives?
  • Is being responsible a character trait that you value a lot?
    Why or why not?
  • The Golden Rule is “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” What does this statement mean? Can you think of a situation in your own life in which you used this statement as the guiding principle for the action that you took? If “yes,” explain.
  1. I would define a responsible person as someone who is organized, who is always on time, who don’t make excuses, are able to consciously make good decisions, accepts the consequences of their own actions, among others.
  2. In my opinion, at most of the time I am a responsible person. I try to hand in things on time, and accept the consequences of my own actions. An example of a responsible person in my daily life is my classmate Valentina. She is always paying attention, always on time, and never makes excuses. Another responsible person in my personal life are my parents. They are always taking care of me and my two siblings, working hard and giving the best of hem in any choir. 
  3. Someone can learn to be a responsible person by the teachers in school, whom should teach them how to handin tasks on time, pay attention in classes, as might later influence their attitude when they grow older. Your parents could also teach you how to be responsible at your house by helping them with the house duties and always giving a hand when needed. Moreover you can learn by yourself how to be responsible by copying others responsible actions.
  4. Nowadays, being responsible will help you at most things in your life. If you are a student, in order to have good grades you should be responsible and hand homeworks n time, study for your exams, and pay attention in class. If you are a grown up you should also  be responsible, you should be on time for your meetings, work hard in your job and take care of your children (if you have some). What I mean is that at the end, you should be responsible if you wants to succeed in life.
  5. The Golden Rule  “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” means that if you want people to treat you in a certain way, you should treat them the same way you want them to treat you. For instance if you want your friends to help you with different tasks you didn’t understand at school, but later when they need help you won’t help them, it is probably that they won’t help you either. However, if you give your help when someone needs it, it is probably that they will give it back to you when you need it.
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