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Joe Keller's character causes readers to make several judgments and draw a variety of conclusions. For example, a reader could judge Joe's decision to ship the faulty airplane parts as immoral because the decision ultimately caused the death of many young pilots. Rather than standing up to the pressure being put on his business by the government, Joe decides to take a risk. From this decision, one might conclude that Joe feels comfortable taking such risks and believes that what he considers a minor flaw will not have such a big impact. Joe is a businessman, one who must take risks of varying proportions on a daily basis.
Through Joe's character, Miller asks the reader to analyze and evaluate priorities. Joe feels an immediate responsibility to his family, and he holds their well-being as a priority. He wants his business to be successful so that he can support his family and leave a legacy for his children. However, this decision led to the death of others. Should Joe have felt a responsibility for unknown men as well? These types of judgments are left to the reader.
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