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All My Sons Opening Scene Overview Essay


the play opens in the "august of our era" denoting a certain pessimism even before the play has properly begun. The tall walls of vegetation create a claustrophobic and secretive atmosphere "secluded, closely planted". The stage directions show it us well looked after, the owners are obviously proud of what they have created in this domestic sphere. The route out of the house is blocked showing the protagonist (joe) wont be able to escape from the situation later on. The fact that there are no other sets and that the outside cannot be seen shows joes internal state, that "outsiders" and people who are not members of his family (like the pilots who were killed by his actions).

The falling of the apple tree shows the fall of hope and also the past pushing itself into the present. the "crows coming home to roost" idea. The clinging fruit represents Kate Kellers clinging hope that Larry is still alive and also the oncoming of the metaphoric winter. It also signals to the audience that something is wrong. It creates a dissonance in the set, The broken tree and the neat order of the yard. Before you know it has fallen in the night it represents an apathetic attitude towards the past.

The American dream is represented in the nicely painted house which is "tight and comfortable". Joe ignores the tree and is engaged in another activity "reading the want ads of the sunday paper". Showing he is unwilling to let anything distract from his hard-worked-for life.

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