Joe talks about Ann's father in "All My Sons". What does he offer him? Why does he do that?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act II, with Ann Deever at the Keller home, visiting, she makes it clear that she has no respect or love for her father because of what he did in the plant when he was partners with Joe Keller.   

Joe tells her that he wants her father to know that he would give him a job when he gets out of jail.  He tells Ann that maybe if her father has something to look forward to he would cope with his prison term with a better frame of mind and not be so bitter. Joe's offer of a job is more for his conscience than for Steve or Ann's benefit. 

"Accordingly, he offers to find a position for George at a local law firm and to create a job for Steve in the factory after his release from prison. Chris objects strongly, while Joe insists that the past must be forgiven and forgotten. His protest to Chris that “[a] father is a father,” despite any wrongs that either father or son might commit, foreshadows the conflict between the two men in the next act."  

The outward reason that Joe does this is to respond to Ann's attitude towards her father.  And to look like a hero, who is willing to forgive his former partner for his criminal behavior. He wants to soften Ann's attitude toward her father.

Inwardly, Joe is feeling very guilty that he used Steve, Ann's father to get himself exonerated, out of jail.  He feels that if he tries to help Steve, his generosity will redeem him from his guilt.  And prove to his family and to Steve's children that he is a  man of honor and show loyalty to their disgraced father.