Larry, son of Joe and Kate Keller, has been physically absent since the beginning of the play All My Sons, yet he is as such a character as any one who is actually physically present on stage. His disappearance haunts his family through the many tensions he creates, symbolism and his spiritual existence, as the balance between idealism and realism between the main characters.
Let’s leave out the first piece of this All My Sons puzzle to Larry and his absence.
Lets begin with Chris, Larry’s only brother. Between the two boys, Larry is the more sensible one, the one with the head for business and the one who understands the problems his father faces day to day. The play constantly compares Chris and Larry, even though Chris is physically present and Larry is not. Chris can be considered a coward compared to Larry. Think about it, Larry has the strong sense of honor and sacrifices himself in war, to make amends for his father’s wrong doings… now that takes courage.
Joe Keller says quote, “God damn, if Larry was alive he wouldn’t act like this. He understood the way the world is made… to him the world had a 40 foot front, it ended at the building line.” Unquote.
So lets give the representation of the second puzzle piece to the comparison between Chris and Larry and the effects his disappearance has on the family.
Chris says that Larry is a...