Category: Arthur Miller

The Onus of Responsibility

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Interim dean Hugh Ruppersburg addressed the UGA chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in December, 2011 on the thread of responsibility running through Arthur Miller's All My Sons, the scandal at Penn State and the future of these UGA graduates:

Arthur Miller’s play is about men who fail to do what is right, about a man whose desire to protect his name and his business causes the death of his own son and of other American young men fighting in the Second World War. Joe Keller loses his son because he allows profit motives to corrode and destroy basic human values. When his surviving son calls him a murderer, the accusation is not unjust. “You can be better,” Chris chastises his mother at play’s end when she asks him what more than sorry can she and Joe be for how events have turned out. “Once and for all you can know there’s a universe of people outside and you’re responsible to it, and unless you know that, you threw away your son because that’s why he died.”