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Dramatic Tension in Miller's All My Sons Essay

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Dramatic Tension in Miller's All My Sons

This extract begins with Chris and Ann deciding how they're going to break the news to the Kellers. They start with Joe Keller, and he somewhat approves. The scene is lighthearted until Keller finds out the George is on the phone for Ann from Columbia. This drives is suspicions and gets him very protective. He begins to try and hint to Chris that Ann is here to try and convict him of the death of Larry. Chris then gets very angry with him, and Joe compensates by bringing out his extreme love and care for the success of his family. The tension of the scene gradually builds up until this part, where Joe Keller abruptly gets very content and jokes about how
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The audience can sense this with the direct tone in Chris' speech to his father.

Miller very effectively uses contrast between the tension in a scene with the skillful use of light hearted preludes or interludes. The contrast means the dramatic tension has increased. This is usually done with characters like Frank or Sue. This helps the audience distinguish the tension better. In this extract, Miller uses Keller's overriding affection and graduated self confidence at the end of the extract to bring down the tension. Keller becomes very witty and cheerful: "There's gonna be a wedding, kid, like there never was scene! Champagne, tuxedos-!" The tension is very abruptly brought down, as it directly follows Chris and Keller's argument. The contrast in tension creates a morbid curiosity in the audience, where they can no longer predict what is to come, which makes the play even better. This increases the rate of anticipation.

The most obvious feature of drama is perhaps the dialogue. Miller uses the skill of using offensive speech to bring about the tension. He deliberately causes conflict between two characters to increase the tension. More over, Miller uses stage directions as a dramatic device to bring about the tension in a scene. Keller makes a 'distracted' entrance onto
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