In Act III of All My Sons, what, according to Chris, has a man got to be?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In what could be considered the climax of the play, Ann reveals to the Keller family the letter she received from Larry before he died, which Chris reads out to compare his conduct about his father and his suspicions with that of his brother. It is highly interesting that before Chris reads out the letter of his dead brother, his father says:

Chris, a man can't be a Jesus in this world!

Keller is obviously stating that the world is so corrupt and evil that it is impossible to be "good" or like Jesus, trying to justify his behaviour. However, Chris reads this letter to his father, saying:

Now listen to this, and tell me what a man's got to be!

The uncompromising stance of Larry and his disgust with his father, and in particular the way that he says he could kill him for what he did if he was there in front of him shows what a "man" is: a man is obviously somebody who is able to face wrongdoing and punish it justly no matter who that person is. This is the attitude that Larry took, and that Chris finds that he lacked in how he has responded to his father.

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