Why did Joe decide to commit suicide (relate to Kate's words at the end of the play: "Forget now! Live") in All My Sons?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Joe decides to commit suicide after Chris reads aloud Larry's letter to Ann. In the letter, Larry explains to Ann that he knows his father knowingly sent out plane parts that were faulty to safeguard his company's profits. Larry also realizes that these faulty parts are causing the deaths of his fellow pilots. Larry feels he can't live with this knowledge and plans to kill himself by crashing his plane. He writes:

Every day three or four men never come back and he sits back there doing "business". ... I don't know how to tell you what I feel.... I can't face anybody... I'm going out on a mission in a few minutes. They'll probably report me as missing. If they do, I want you to know that you mustn't wait for me. I tell you, Ann, if I had him there now I could kill him

This brings home to Joe that he is responsible for his son's death. As he realizes that his wrongdoing led his son to kill himself, he suddenly realizes that all the young men who died were his "sons," and he had a...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 894 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on April 15, 2020