All My Sons

July 30, 2017 | Author: Emily Gong | Category: Crimes
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A general bulleted summary of "All My Sons"; some analysis at the end, but mostly just plotline notes...


Emily Gong AP English Notes: All My Sons Characters: Joe Keller- a heavy man nearing sixty, a retired businessman and boss; considerably uneducated, but fends off of knowledge gain through experience and age Kate Keller-in early fifties, a woman of uncontrolled inspirations and an overwhelming capability for love Chris Keller-Keller’s second oldest son, cautious and reserved, seeks Anne to marry Ann Deever- Keller’s girlfriend and estranged daughter of Steve Deever, who has been convicted of murder for twenty-one pilots because he knowingly shipped out cracked mechanical parts George Deever- same age as Chris, a passionate man who lathes Keller from circumventing his punishment Dr. Jim Bayliss- nearing forty, “very self-controlled man”; very practical, realistic man; scorns Frank’s supernatural suspicions and dismisses his horoscope readings as valid information Sue Bayliss- also around forty, Jim’s wife, a rather chubby, quirky lady; serious, and stern Frank Lubey-thirty-two, opinionated man, a superstitious man who works on Larry’s horoscope on Kate’s request Lydia Lubey- twenty-seven, robust, joyful Bert- a young neighborhood boy, extremely playful, likes to play cops and detectives Act 1 • First few to be introduced are the men; their conversation retained nothing of mild importance; Keller states that he’s more interested in society wants than in the daily news • Keller cites how communal respect to a questionable occupation has changed: “in my day, there was no such thing…either you were a layer, or a doctor, or your worked a shop” • Mentions Larry Keller; his tree has fallen down, a victim to vicious gales • Frank reads horoscopes and tells Keller about how Kate has asked him to figure out whether the day Larry reported missing was a favorable day; find out if Larry has really died • Jim and Frank get in a spit fight as Jim attacks Frank about his horoscope readings • Jim alludes to Ann Deever, whose father previously had own and lived in Jim’s house • Sue interrupts the men’s conversation with an announcement that Jim’s patient is on the phone; she is very serious and distant

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to her husband; there is no apparent sign of love or affection between them Her mention of “ten dollars”- concludes that money and finance is one of her priorities Lydia comes in, after which Sue leaves  briefly mentions to Keller about Anne’s previous love, the late Larry Keller Bert runs in and reports to Keller, doing his “police” duties; he also wants to see a jail in Keller’s house Keller is anxious over Kate’s possible reaction to the overturned tree; Chris interrupts and clarifies that Kate has already seen the fallen tree while sleepwalking outside at four in the morning Kate has shown similar abnormal behavior before [after Larry’s death] Chris wants to confess to her mother about Larry’s death; he believes she will prove to be an obstacle during his proposal to Annie Deever because she highly acclaims that Ann will remain faithful and wait for Larry Chris denounces his frequent retreat from getting things that he wants Keller plays on Chris’s characteristic and tries to persuade him not to provoke Kate with the news; he picks on Chris’s lack of charisma for other women and constantly states Kate’s instability Chris hints at the possibility of his leaving the town to marry Ann; Keller is distraught at this and manages to placate Chris Kate enters the scene; Chris goes to retrieve the potatoes that Keller thought were garbage Kate begins mumbling about how everything seems to happen that month, about Larry She recalls her dream about Larry suddenly plunging from the sky and then reprimands Keller for planting a tree in Larry’s remembrance too soon [she completely denies that Larry is dead] Kate questions Keller about Ann’s sudden reappearance; she still believes that Ann is waiting for Larry Keller refutes Kate’s belief Kate links Anne’s reappearance with the broken tree and alludes that Larry might not be dead; she insists that Keller believe it and that he, of all people, must keep faith (foreshadowing) Kate shuns Bert away, outraged at Keller’s promoting a “jail business” Anne goes admiring her old home and meets Doc. Bayliss; she has reminiscences Anne is astounded when she discovers that Larry’s clothes and shoes are all shined

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Anne and Kate argue over doubts of Larry’s survival Anne has zero-tolerance for her father---she does not care much if he gets off on parole or not Readers find out about the exculpation of Keller and the conviction of Deever Keller praises his hypocritical action to Anne and tells her to tell Deever (estranged father) about what he said Kate urges Anne to be silent about her belief that her father may have murdered Larry; she still cannot accept his death Keller tries to coax Chris and Anne to stop blaming and condemning Deeverhe hid the cracks in a large batch of cylinder heads Keller exits into his house, out of the scene; Chris and Ann intimately chat about their previous years; they are obviously in love Chris clarifies his reluctance of openly loving Anne; he was ashamed of living for himself when thousands of men died for each other at war Keller interrupts and notified Anne that he brother has called Keller seems peeved and unnerved asks Chris if Anne came back with other intentions He is extremely pragmatic and has done everything to gain a corpulent fortune and win what he desires Keller wants Chris to declare that he is not ashamed of his father’s money Anne announces that her brother, George, will be coming Katie cautions Keller to be careful- a feel of great apprehension and suspense- Is there more to Keller?

Act 2 • Kate brings snacks and expresses her worries to Chris: is there a possibility of reinvestigating the case? • Chris and Anne have yet to tell Kate about their engagement • Sue enters and talks to Anne; Doc. Bayliss has gone to pick up George; she asks that Anne and Chris move away from town because “Chris makes people want to be better than it’s possible to be” • Sue’s true intentions and feelings are unraveled when she vents out how she abhors living near the Keller family (the “holy” family) • Anne is disturbed by Sue; she asks for an answer from Chris about his father’s innocence

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Act 3

Keller has grown fearful of George’s arrival; he desperately wants Anne to accept Deever, as he is dreading the chance of his son realizing his part in the crime George comes with vengeance on his mind; he castigates Chris and his father, Keller George exposes the truth: Keller had convinced Steve that he would take responsibility for the defections, then committed perjury George questions Chris and his conscience He temporarily dismisses the problem when Kate and Lydia enters the scene He grows affectionate when he sees Lydia ( an old flame) but he had given up the chance of being with her for his ideals Keller comes out and chats with a cold George---finds out that Deever is not a vengeful man who hates all people who profited from war George is cunning--- he tries to win George over by recalling Deever’s past---fire incident and faulty stock playing--- Deever--“a man that never learns to take the blame” Keller purposefully incriminates Deever to prove his innocence Kate’s slow-given assurance about Keller’s flu during the war again sparks suspicion in George---Keller excuses Kate’s and his behavior to forgetfulness---doesn’t quite convince George Frank abruptly comes running in and shows Kate Larry’s horoscope- he claims that Larry couldn’t have died on his “favorable” day---this will jeopardize Chris’s engagement George, Chris, Anne, and Kate glower and scream at each other, Kate and George telling Anne to leave, with Chris refusing her absence Kate urgently slaps Keller and demands Chris to let go of Anne--she insists that they wait in time for Larry’s return Chris is bewildered and infuriated- Kate finally blows the covers and exposes Keller’s nefarious deed----“ God does not let a son be killed by his father” Keller, horrified and devastated, tries in vain to hold onto Chris; Chris is mortified at his father’s guilt and selfishness and leaves his father half-dead and chanting for transparent hope Keller rationalizes that he did the business all for his son---to him, the individual is what stands above all else---“the ends justify the means” is consistently his life motto

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Jim appears and chats with the waiting Kate; he politely asks her about what happened, then tells Kate he has always known about the true face of crime Jim explains to Kate that Chris will come back, a changed man however, a man who can stand to dote on lies rather and sacrifice his duties as a man to his obligations as a son Keller comes out and still thinks that there is some hope left to avoid his due punishment; he fusses over Anne and Jim, appearing almost mad with conviction Keller’s dreams has completely disintegrated; his son has left his side, his wife has acknowledged his fate Kate quietly pleads with Keller to admit his crime to Chris, to tell the truth, to say he’s willing to go to prison for what he has done Keller’s temper fumes again and rants about his dedication to his family and the roughness of society and reality justification for his actions Keller then puts all his faith into deceased Larry, claiming that Larry would never act as Chris has, that he would fully appreciate what his father has done Ann exits out of the house and confronts both Keller and Kate--she does not have the heart to convict Keller, but she wishes for Kate to tell Chris Larry’s dead Kate utterly refuses; Ann, with no more options, shows her Larry’s last letter Chris returns and tells his mother he’s leaving and never returning---he is “practical” Chris surrenders and shouts out to Ann that the world is “a zoo” Keller enters the scene and grabs for Chris; Chris pushes he away Keller labels his decision as the practical way; Chris does not rebuke but simply states that he thought Keller was better than “other men” Keller answers Kate that he’s going to the police station, as he has no hopes of redemption from any of his sons they’re reaching for a goal and ideal that is not part of his world “All My Sons”--- the nation and humanity Keller commits suicide inside the house and Chris and Kate moan

Important: • Joe Keller: though may not be fully at fault for imprecisely calibrating the complex values in his life, he denies responsibility

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Wartime racketeering and merciless pursuits of business profits to the exclusion of the human decency are part and parcel of the American capitalist system Though insisting that he was thinking for his family---first though was keep his business Poor reflection on the profit orientation of the capitalism Draws a distinction b/w men who are easily pressured and men who can stand up for themselves and make a difficult choice in a bad situation “the little man” who the hero patronizingly defends turns out to be like the hero nuclear family was truly the nucleus of a man’s world does not understand that actions o f this small cog do have implications far wider than he can see with his own eyes Keller’s individual or family values: misguided, ignorant and destruction in raltioan to larger social and culture values Kate: prefers to believe that there are forces outside her control —astrology or God’s choice that ultimately dictate life or death more than individual choices do Knows about Keller’s guilt Forcing her son, Larry, to stay alive in order to allowed herself to continue living with her husband in some acceptable way— mother’s self deception Keller: nothing more important than family Chris: man for men; the responsibility for humanity “All My Sons”: all people have an obligation to society to value everyone’s son as though they were their own---“universalism”

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