The Keller family patriarch, Joe is a self-made businessman who started out as a semiskilled laborer and worked his way up in the business world to become a successful manufacturer.
The basics of Joe Kellers character will include several facts. Joe is the boss/owner of an industrial shop that made airplane parts during WWII. Keller's facility sold faulty parts to the military, which led to the deaths of twenty-one pilots.
Keller's oldest son, Larry, died in the war. He was a pilot as well.
Chris Keller was also a soldier but fought in a ground unit. The experiences Chris had in the war have shaped his outlook on life and have, effectively, made him an idealist who has a difficult time functioning in the world.
He also believes that one should be guided by the noblest principles...
He wants to re-incorporate himself into civilian life - and he is liked by most people - but he has a difficult time accepting the compromises of business life and the perspective that is common among those who did not fight in the war.
It is Chris's sense of integrity that keeps him from truly accepting a role in society. His interal strife becomes external when he learns what his father has done.