When Kate Keller comes onstage toward the beginning of act 1 in Arthur Miller's All My Sons, the notes describe her as being in her early fifties. This makes her several years younger than her husband, Joe, who is described as being almost sixty years old.
Throughout her adult life, Kate has dutifully filled the role of wife and mother. She is incredibly protective of her sons, particularly the memory of Larry, who she vehemently believes is still alive. She also keeps her husband's dark secret concerning his culpability in the death of twenty-one pilots during the war.
Despite her role as the quintessential suburban housewife, Kate is often in control of the situation. She is intelligent and insightful, despite her superstitions and stubbornness to accept her son's untimely death. For instance, when George Deever arrives in the second act and threatens to reveal Joe's secret, Kate deftly steps in to distract by showering him with kindness. It almost works until she slips up and says that Joe was never sick during the war. She also subtly does what she can to try to sabotage the romance between Chris and Ann. In her fifty-plus years, Kate has learned a lot about how to wield the soft power available to a woman in her position.