The reason why “All my sons” falls into the category of a modern day tragedy is because it focuses on the common men instead of the extraordinary men and their ignorance leading them to their downfall, which in this case the common man would happen to be Joe Keller.
In all my sons, we can see that Joe keller focuses more on what he wants which is being rich, having a family, and overall to live the american dream. With his ambitions Joe blatantly ignores what is right and thinks only for himself and ultimately ends up making a bad decision of consenting to the production of defective airplane products to the military responsible for twenty one deaths of american airmen while and putting the blame on his partner Steve Deever.
With Joe’s wrongful decision making his downfall come when he hears the letter from Chris keller, one of his son, Joe is completely shattered when he hears that in the letter sent to Ann Deever, Larry is disgusted with what his father has done towards the military and takes it upon himself to go on a one-way mission in which he will not return from. With Joe carrying this heavy burden, he then goes to takes the blame completely on himself and commits suicide.
I believe the most important theme in this play is Irony, you do so much for the american dream to only have it cost you in the future. I believe this theme is seen throughout the play in the fact that the ideal american family isn’t that perfect after all. Take the Keller family, to the community they may seem like one or maybe the wealthiest and stressless family because they seem to have it all. Joe Keller specifically did what he did thinking that this was a way to give to his family but in the end, his decisions and ambitions to keep his dream alive ended up costing him his family and his own life.
The way All My Sons is a critique of the american dream is because typically the so called “ American Dream” is that any one can have the opportunity to achieve and make something of yourself. We see this clearly in the play because Joe Keller is a clear example of the typical example of one, Keller started from the bottom and becomes what he thinks is a self-made successful businessman with an ideal family. Joe uses his self-made wealth as a way of showing that he accomplished the american dream by running his own business, J.O.Keller inc.
Joe doesn’t follow the american dream for materialistic things that prove he is successful but instead he follows it to prove his social hierarchy. This is a great example because it shows that it does not matter how much money you have to begin with but what you can earn through and end up with in your lifetime, for Joe this was underlying problem with his ambitions of becoming rich and having economic security. and But in order to live his american dream he had to do things to prevent his reputation or social status from being tarnished.