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All My Sons Essay

1701 words - 7 pages

All My Sons In the play All My Sons, as in Death of a Salesman, love is the basis of all the evil and tragic events that happen in the play. The play involves the Keller family, of which the two boys are grown men. One of the sons, Larry, went to war and was reported missing. The family never knew what happened to him. While the father, Joe, and other son, Chris, have come to realize that after three years he must be dead, the mother, Kate, refuses to believe it. Joe worked for a factory that made parts for the fighter pilots in the war. He was accused of murder when twenty one planes crashed because the part that Keller had made had a crack in them. He was sent to jail, but later released ...view middle of the document...

From all this it's plain to see that even though the circumstances are depressing, the action inside the family is very positive and sanguine.At the end of the play, when Joe is trying to defend himself against his son, trying to explain to him why he allowed the defective parts to be used, he uses the excuse that he did it for him. "Joe: "¦Chris"¦Chris, I did it for you, it was a chance and I took it for you. I'm sixty-one years old, when would I have another chance to make something for you? Sixty-one years old you don't get another chance, do ya?"12 Not only does this show that Joe loved his son, but it shows how love was the reason for the calamity. Joe believed that he hadn't done anything wrong, that he had had a good reason for what he did; this reason was his love for his son. He had lost sight of reality when he excused himself for what he had done, but he had persevered to overcome this incident, but despite his persistence it had caught up with him and engulfed him in his guilt. As a result of his son's rejection, and the realization that his other son had killed himself because of what he had done, Joe Keller kills himself. Joe had tried to do what he thought was best for his family, out of his love for them, but it backfired on him and he couldn't live with himself knowing that his sons despised him. The literary critic, Barry Gross, addresses this topic in one of his criticisms of this play, and more specifically of Joe Keller. "Joe's suicide is less a moral judgment than an act of love"¦ Joe commits his second anti-social crime in the name of the same love that motivated the first."13 From this passage Gross shows that Keller committed suicide for what he believed to be the right reason. In Joe Keller's mind, he was doing it for the greater good of his family. Although this may seem sick and twisted to many people, it proves that the tragedy was for a meaningful purpose, and was a positive thing. This is from the view of the main character, and most likely doesn't coincide with the opinion of other people.Although All My Sons is a tragedy and something terrible happens at the end, the overall view is a positive one. It shows the strength of love, and the extent that people will go to for it. More specifically it shows a man's devotion to his family, what he would do, and not do to keep his family together. In spite of the fact that what he did was wrong, the reason he did it was for the greater good of the ones he loved.What Defines a Tragedy The definition of tragedy has been argued for thousands of years. Literary scholars have different ideas, none of them wrong, but distinct in their own ways. Some have loose definitions, with very flexible standards. There are others that believe quite the opposite, having very strict definitions with no room for variations. Aristotle was one of these latter scholars. His definition was very exact, with no room for flexibility. He believed that, "A tragedy is the...

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