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What is the significance of money in the play?

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loly0 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 22, 2009 at 11:59 PM via web

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What is the significance of money in the play?

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 23, 2009 at 8:28 AM (Answer #1)

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Money plays a significant role in Joe Keller's decision to ship the faulty airplane parts.  He has worked very hard from the bottom up to own the factory, he believed that if he did not meet the military contract and deliver the parts on time that he would lose his business. 

He made his decision because he felt that his financial security and future were at risk if he did not meet the time constraints of the military contract.

Money is the driving force behind the decision, he claims that he did not want to put his family at risk by not shipping the faulty airplane parts.  Joe Keller puts money above integrity, above honesty, above all the beliefs that he claims to value.

The distorted decision that Joe makes in order to save the factory, so as not to lose his financial position, is closely linked with the respect the family has for him.  Joe equates his family's love with what he can provide for them.

Joe's self-worth is closely tied with his business and financial success, that is why he was desperate to get out of jail, he needed to rescue his self-worth to recover his freedom which  proved to him, that he made the right decision. 

He believes that his life can go on, even though Steve Deever will rot in jail for a crime that he committed.  He doesn't care if Steve takes the blame for the criminal behavior as long as he is free, he feels vindicated.

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