"In all my plays and books I try to take setting and dramatic situations from life which involve real questions of right and wrong. Then I set out, rather implacably and in the most realistic situations I can find, the moral dilemma and try to point out a real, though hard, path out. I don't see how you can write anything decent without using the question of right and wrong as the basis."
Arthur Miller, 1948, press conference after the premiere of All My Sons.
Knowing where the blurred line between right and wrong is drawn is the basis for conflict in many of Arthur Miller's plays. Miller deals not only with the moral distinctions in individual relationships, but also the responsibility of the individual to family and the society in which the individual lives. In two of Miller's more famous plays, The Death of a Salesman and All my Sons , we see the inter-related effect on the family and society when characters are morally inconsistent.
We believe Willy Loman loves his family, loves his sons, but he does not deal openly about his 'indiscretion', even with Biff; Joe Keller loves his sons, but attempts to justify decisions that make him responsible for the death of some young wartime pilots. Chris Keller , Joe's son, states "There is a universe outside and you're responsible to it". A View from the Bridge deals with what the 'healthy' family contributes to the greater good, and therefore what the broken family contributes to the greater ill. The audience is presented with Eddie Carbone and the conflicts that arise from his ambiguous relationships with his niece and wife, as well as the strong allegiance the ordinary people have with each other against outside forces like the immigration department. In this play...