All My Sons

How can I live my life to not have unintended consequences?

Photo by Rodrigo Rodriguez on Unsplash
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Purpose for Students
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Date Added: 
June 2019

Relationship to Ambiguity

All My Sons is a 1947 play by Arthur Miller, set during WWII.  The play was adapted for films in 1948 and 1987.  It is about a father who takes action to enrich and benefit himself in a way that ultimately (and unintentionally) ends up killing one of his sons.

The play and films deal with moral dilemma and moral ambiguity.




I have not used it. I have used similar stories, such as the Grapes of Wrath story about tractoring neighbors off of their land. I use it to get students to deal with the moral ambiguity between right and wrong.




I've learned that students' self-image and ultimate actions are often in conflict. I've also noticed that they easily rationalize the disparity.

Design Abilities Used

The story leaves room for seeing our own actions in a critical light.


Submitted by:

Bernard Roth
Bernard Roth
Academic Director & Co-Founder, Stanford, Professor, Stanford School of Engineering

Design Abilities Used

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