All My Sons Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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The significance of Chris's star in All My Sons

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In Act 3 Jim tells Kate that everyone has what he calls their own star—the star of one's honesty. At this point in the play, Chris has come to realize the terrible truth of his father's immoral behavior: shipping defective machine parts that caused the death of pilots in the war. Chris needs to go away and think through the consequences of his father's actions. But Jim's sure that when Chris's star has faded, he'll return and understand what his father did; he'll understand how complicated life is and how moral purity is virtually impossible in a world where you often have to compromise to get by. Chris wants to hang on to his little star of honesty for as long as possible, clinging to his illusions until he finally realizes that the world isn't as honest as he'd like it to be, and that it never will be.

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