Since the play ends with the apparent death of Joe Keller, what happens next?

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slcollins | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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Your question brings to light an interesting aspect of Miller’s play: he leaves us to ponder what might happen next. By all accounts, we do believe that Joe Keller has killed himself, so that leaves us to look at the other characters and their future. Kate Keller has lost her husband but might have gained back her life. She can now go forward knowing and accepting that Larry is truly dead. She can also live without the guilt and lies that surrounded Joe’s role in killing the pilots of those planes. When we take a look at Chris and Annie, we are left to wonder if they will stick around. Chris had effectively severed ties with his father in hopes of having a future with Annie. Joe’s death frees Annie and Chris, much like it frees Kate. They can move on with their life together and don’t have to worry about Kate’s disapproval. It is a tragic ending for Joe, but it could be looked at as a new beginning for the rest of the Keller family.


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