How does Miller present Joe Keller as a tragic hero In All My Sons?
Joe Keller is a man who loves and values his family very much and has sacrificed everything, including his honour, in his struggle to make his family prosperous. In the 1940s the American dream was one that everyone possessed. The American dream promised wealth, happiness and anything a citizen could ever want. This concept of perfect life was one that Joe tried his very hardest to live by so that he could provide for his family, most importantly his children. When Keller says “what the hell did I work for? That’s only for you Chris, the whole shootin’ match is for you,” this shows the reader very clearly that he feels it his duty to provide for his son. All my sons is a very tragic play. It shows how a man can sacrifice his morals, responsibility and the truth to provide for his family so that they can live a perfectly plentiful life. This struggle for wealth and material goods involves Keller committing an awful crime because he wants his business to be successful. This is the cause of Keller’s downfall. Miller examines the morality of a man who places his narrow responsibility to his immediate family above his wider responsibility to the men who rely on the integrity of his work. The reader sees how Keller places his family in front of society. At the end of All my sons Keller disappears offstage and shoots himself. This is a very tragic thing to happen as all he wanted was a happy family. When he learns that Larry committed suicide due to his conviction and that Chris could never truly forgive him, he feels that his life is not worth living as he doesn’t have the full love of his family, which is his biggest priority. He tried to convince Chris that his actions were for the betterment of his business and his family. He says “For you, a business for you!” This tells the reader that Keller was a very hard worker and all he did was for the family. After this line, Keller doesn’t sound like...
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