What is Joe's situation at the beginning of All My Sons; what are his beliefs, values and actions?

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His situation is very good on the outside, except for the fact that his son was killed in the war.  He owns a factory and is considered quite successful.  Though he plays at being somewhat uneducated, etc., he actually feels very strongly about his success and what he has done to deserve it.  The fact that the tree he planted as a memorial for Luke has split at the beginning is a matter of concern, but only foreshadows what will change for Joe throughout the course of the story.

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