All My Sons


Essay - "All My Sons"

"There?s nothing? he could do that I wouldn?t forgive. Because he?s my son. Because I?m his father and he?s my son." That is a quote about forgiveness, whether or not deciding to choose to forgive is a very personal, and sensitive subject. Imagine what it would be like to have to decide to forgive a close relative for the murder of 21 men. That is the main subject in the three act play, All My Sons, by Arthur Miller.
Joe Keller and Herbert Deever are two ordinary men, trying to succeed in life. They ran a machine shop during the war that produced airplane parts. "The night foreman came and showed him the cylinder heads... they were coming out of the process with defects. So Dad went directly to the phone and called here and told Joe to come down right away. But the morning passed. No sign of Joe. So Dad called again. By this time he had over a hundred defective. The Army was screaming for stuff and Dad didn?t have anything to ship. So Joe told him... on the phone he told him to weld, cover up any cracks in any way he could, and ship them out." That is a passage from the play and is a very important scene, where the truth comes out about what the two men did. In a state of panic, the men let defective parts which went into airplanes be shipped to the Army. They were used, causing the death of 21 men. Keller and Deever were brought to trial, where Keller went free and Deever went to prison.
At the same time during the war, Joe Keller?s son, Larry was pronounced missing. Kate Keller, Joe?s wife and mother of Larry and Chris, went crazy about the report of Larry missing. She is described in her early 50's, a woman of uncontrolled inspirations and an overwhelmed capacity for love. Like any mother, she is in doubt that her son may be dead. She still awaits the day when he will come walking up the road and everything will be fine again. She keeps his room the way he left it, with his clothes in the closet and his shoes shined. Kate is very disturbed by Larry being missing, even three and a half years later.
Ann Deever is the daughter of Herbert Deever. She is described as a pretty girl who is 26 years old. She is gentle but despite herself capable of holding, fast to what she knows. She was Larry?s sweetheart before he went off to the war. Ann was asked by Chris to return to her hometown to visit. Chris asked her to come so he could ask her hand in marriage.
Chris Keller, is 32 years old and solidly built. He is a man capable of immense affection and loyalty. He has an external struggle with his parents. His mother is totally against him marrying Ann, because it would be showing that Larry isn?t coming back. " I said he?s dead! I know! He crashed off the coast of China on Nov. 25th! His engine didn?t fail him. But he died. I know..." That is a quote from Ann when she finally reveals to Kate that Larry is really dead. She didn?t want to tell her, but she had to in order to be able to marry Chris. Chris also struggled with his dad because he never knew the whole truth about what happened until George, Ann?s brother came to visit.
George is about 26, a palm man, who is on the edge of restraint. George became a lawyer and looked into his father?s case. He thinks he can prove the Joe Keller was more guilty than his father. He came to visit, and that is when he brought up everything about what happened to Chris. That is the climax, when Chris realizes that his father is a murderer, and should be in jail. Chris couldn?t handle the fact that his father is a murderer, and can not forgive him. At the end, Joe dies because of this struggle with his only son left.
"Then what is this if it isn?t telling me? Sure, he was my son. But I think to him they were all my sons. And I guess they were, I guess they