All My Sons Characters

The main characters in All My Sons are Joe Keller, Kate Keller, Larry Keller, Chris Keller, Ann Deever, and Steve Deever.

  • Joe Keller is the patriarch of the Keller family, who knowingly sold faulty cylinder heads to the United States military.
  • Kate Keller is Joe’s wife, who believes her son Larry is still alive.
  • Larry Keller is Joe and Kate’s son, who crashed his plane during World War II.
  • Chris Keller is Larry’s brother, who intends to propose to Larry’s former girlfriend.
  • Ann Deever is Larry’s former girlfriend, who is now in love with Chris.
  • Steve Deever is Ann’s father and Joe’s business partner, who took the fall for Joe.

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Joe Keller 

Joe Keller (called “Keller” in the speech prefixes) is a factory owner, in charge of a business that makes airplane parts. He fathered two sons, Chris and Larry. By the time of the play’s action, however, only Chris remains alive, because Larry died in the war three years previously. During the war, Joe’s factory shipped out defective airplane parts, causing the deaths of twenty-one pilots. Joe was arrested and jailed for this, only to be exonerated by the court, while his business partner (who is also Ann Deever’s father) was blamed and sent to prison. Over the course of the play, it is revealed that Joe actually was responsible for the defective parts. He allowed them to be shipped because he wanted to preserve the reputation of his business so that he could pass it on to his son.

Kate Keller 

Kate Keller (called “Mother” in the speech prefixes) is Joe’s wife, mother to Chris and Larry. While Joe and Chris have accepted Larry’s death sometime prior to the play’s action, Kate has not yet. She is nevertheless devastated and remains partially out of touch with reality for most of the play. Because of her belief that Larry is alive, she becomes the primary obstacle to Chris and Annie’s marriage. Kate still views Annie as Larry’s girl, which would make his brother marrying her an obscene violation in Kate’s mind. When Chris and Larry finally confront Kate with the truth that Larry is definitely dead, she reveals her real reason for being unable to accept that Larry is dead: if he is dead, then Joe must have been responsible for his death because of shipping out the defective airplane parts. Kate cannot accept that God would let a man be responsible for his son’s death. This revelation creates the moment when Chris realizes that his faith in his father has been utterly unjustified.

Chris Keller 

Chris Keller is the son of Joe and Kate, brother to the deceased Larry. He is in love with Annie, who was involved with Larry before he died. For this reason, he has put off asking Annie to marry him, but when the play starts, he has decided it’s time, which is why he has invited Annie to stay with the Kellers. Chris and Annie agree to marry but must still navigate the obstacle of Chris’s mother. Though he works in the family business, Chris is not particularly attached to it, but he does have faith in the integrity of his father. This is why he resists mightily when George confronts him with the truth of the situation. But when Joe’s crime is revealed by Kate’s revelation and Joe’s own words, Chris’s sense of self and sense of his world breaks down.

Ann “Annie” Deever 

Annie Deever grew up alongside the Keller boys. Before Larry died, she was involved with him, and she experienced terrible grief after his passing. Now, she is visiting the Kellers again after a long time, at Chris’s invitation. She has long been drawn to Chris, especially after they exchanged letters starting two years ago. Her feelings for Chris are just as strong as his for her, and she very much wants to marry him. Annie is also the daughter of Joe’s imprisoned former business partner. This makes Kate suspicious of Annie’s motives in coming to visit, especially after her brother George calls to say that he is coming to visit just after seeing his father in prison.

George Deever 

George Deever is Annie’s brother and the son of Joe’s former business partner. When the trial concluded, he believed that Joe was innocent and his father was guilty, as the court had decided. The source of this faith was his unshakable belief in Chris. For this reason, he had never visited his father in prison, or contacted him at all, until he went to tell him that Annie and Chris were to be married. At that time, he heard the story from his father’s own lips, and he has now come to believe that Joe is guilty. George travels to the Kellers’ house to try to get Annie to come home with him instead of marrying Chris, who is guilty by association with Joe.

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