All My Sons Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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In Arthur Miller's All My Sons, how is Chris affected by the information of his father's guilt?  

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Chris Keller has been living in a state of denial. He is his father's son, and that involves a certain amount--actually, a considerable amount--of self-deception regarding the Keller family's history. Joe Keller is a successful businessman whose former employee languishes in prison for a crime for which Joe was at least equally, if not more, culpable--a crime that led to the death of Chris's brother Larry. 

Arthur Miller's play All My Sons is a tragedy that traces the downfall not just of Joe Keller, Chris's father, but of the entire family. Suspicions or rumors regarding Joe's complicity in the deaths of American pilots during World War II have hung over the family, casting a pall over their otherwise normal middle-class existence. As the facade of normality crumbles, however, the previously loyal and dutiful Chris turns on his father, pretending to an idealistic vision of the older man that may or may not have actually existed:

Chris: I know you're no worse than most men but I thought you were better. I never saw you as a man. I saw you as my father. (Almost breaking) I can't look at you this way, I can't look at myself! 

How does Chris respond to the revelation of Joe's guilt? By denying any culpability on his own part with the perpetuation of the myth of Joe's innocence, all the while dating the daughter of the aforementioned incarcerated employee. Chris Keller is no paragon of virtue. His attributes--he is there for his parents, remaining loyal to Joe while adopting as his own paramour the girlfriend of his dead brother. He is quick, however, to indict his father for all those deaths, including Larry's, and his anger towards Joe drives Chris to kill himself. Chris responds to the information by turning on the father he had heretofore idolized. As he pushes home the point of Joe's guilt, the now-broken father laments...

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