How does Joe try to explain his behavior to Chris in Act 2 of All My Sons?  After Chris finds out that his father was guilty and been lying all of these years? It was after Chris found out that...

How does Joe try to explain his behavior to Chris in Act 2 of All My Sons? 

After Chris finds out that his father was guilty and been lying all of these years?

It was after Chris found out that Joe wasn't sick during the war (his guilty) and that drove him crazy about Joe.

Expert Answers
pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Joe explains that the had no choice but to accept the timetable that the military contract specified.  If he did not meet the deadline for delivery on the parts, he could have lost the contract.  And, in losing the contract with the military, his business would have been ruined.  Joe claims that he made the decision to ship the faulty parts to save his business and the reason that it was so important was because he needed to support his family.

Joe Keller tries to convince his son that his deception was for the most honorable reasons, to protect his future, to insure the survival of the company, to provide for his family.

Chris is so stricken by his father's admission of guilt that he runs off into the night.  He cannot bear to think of his father as a dishonest man, because he reasons, if he is dishonest, by direct association, then he, Chris is also dishonest. 

The thought of his father's actions overwhelms him, he feels such a burden, he can't bear to look at his father. His disappointment and shock is enormous.  All these years he believed in his father's innocence.  He never once believed that Joe was guilty.  Chris has looked at Joe Keller, all these years, with rose colored glasses, refusing to see him for who he really is.  His rude awakening to the truth of Joe's character plunges Chris into a deep despair.  

While Joe feels that Chris should be willing to forgive him, because he is still his father, Chris cannot accept this line of thinking.