In All My Sons, Kate's hopes are shattered by Ann's answer concerning Larry.  Discuss.

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Near the end of the play, Ann feels that she must reveal the truth about Larry because Kate simply will not accept the idea that he is most likely dead.  Kate's firm belief in Larry's being alive prevents her from accepting the engagement between Ann and Chris.  So, Ann reads Kate the letter that Larry sent to her before he went off on his last mission and, we assume, commited suicide.  When Kate hears the truth, her hopes are shattered.  On a surface level, she is obviously upset because she must now accept the fact that she has lost one of her sons.  On another level, her reaction voices the serious implications of Larry's death--Larry realized that people during the war never looked out for the well-being of others and that soldiers were simply pawns in the war effort.  Kate must accept the fact that her own husband was also one who disregarded the lives of others during the war.  Further, she knew about Joe's involvement and kept it secret for years.  So, Kate's hopes are shattered by the loss of her son and her having to face her own guilt.