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Blame is one of the major themes that distinguish the characters of All My Sons....

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sohilastudent | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 14, 2012 at 6:43 PM via web

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Blame is one of the major themes that distinguish the characters of All My Sons. Discuss how Keller, Chris and Larry tried to put blame on others.

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 10, 2013 at 1:18 PM (Answer #1)

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Through first two acts of the play, Keller attempts to deflect all blame from himself regarding the sale of the faulty airplane parts. He claims to have been sick on the day that the faulty parts were sold and claims that Deever was solely responsible for the sale. 

Later, Keller admits that he knew the parts were faulty and ceases to blame Deever and instead blames the commercial war system, arguing that no one who sold guns, cars, or anything else for use in war could say they had earned clean money.

"If my money's dirty there ain't a clean nickel in the United States. Who worked for nothin' in that war? … Did they ship a gun or a truck outa Detroit before they got their price? … It's dollars and cents, nickels and dimes; war and peace, it's nickels and dimes, what's clean?"

In each of these ways Keller continues to deflect blame from himself until the last scene of the play. 

Larry is an interesting example in this discussion. He blames Keller for shaming him so deeply that he wants to commit suicide - and does. 

Chris blames Deever first for ruining his family and for killing the men who died in the airplanes in the war due to the faulty parts. Chris is righteous in his passions and directs those passions, initially, toward Deever as well as other average Americans who do not understand what the war means to the soldiers who fought in it. 

Later, Chris blames Keller for Larry's death and the death of the twenty one pilots who died as a result of the faulty parts. This blame strikes deeply at Keller, who also commits suicide.

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