Kate Keller plays the role of an obsessive mother and a typical wife in the play “All My Sons” It his her motherliness that defines her character the most, as the fist few stage directions refer to “mother” as, ‘Mother […] is in her early fifties, a woman of uncontrolled inspirations, and an overwhelming capacity for love.’ This “overwhelming capacity of love” is mostly seen for her son Larry who seems to be dead, but Kate is just not ready to accept reality and move on.
Even before mother’s entry in the play, the readers find out a few details about her through the stage directions and even the dialogues of the other characters, such as the dialogue between Chris and Joe where Chris threatens to abandon home and their business if Joe somehow does not convince Kate for Chris’s wedding with Ann.
Kate’s obsession with her son Larry, who never returned from war goes to such an extent that she has dreams about him, leading her to cry every night. She is just not ready to accept her son’s death and for the first time her “controlling” nature is seen as she tries to manipulatively tries to create distance between her older son Chris and “Larry’s girl”, Ann; “I think her nose got longer" Her obsession goes as far as even symbolizing the apple tree’s fall as something dangerous, and something harmful coming towards Larry. The fall of the apple tree probably foreshadows the death of Larry, instigating his family to move on.
Another main characteristic that Kate posses is manipulativeness. She avoids every discussion that she realizes, goes towards the future of Chris and Ann. She either deviates the topic or just acts as though she has a headache. She manipulates her discussion with Chris in such a way where Chris finds it impossible to even mention their future together. Kate first talks about how proud she is that Ann has not move on and that she is still waiting for Larry to return, and then suddenly asks him if he is interested in Ann, and ofcourse by then...
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