In the story All My Sons by Arthur Miller, there are many symbols that influence the characters’ actions and other events. Symbols such as the tree in the yard and the date November 25th represent the remembrance of Larry Keller. The downed tree also hints to the letter at the end of the story. Other symbols stand for past events in the characters’ lives and give the reader a view into the important father-son relationship between Joe and Chris Keller.
One of the major symbols in the play was the tree in the yard. The tree was important to the Kellers because it was planted on the day that their son, Larry, disappeared. The importance can be seen when the tree was knocked over. The Kellers and their neighbors saw the fallen tree and remembered Larry. Also, the fallen tree hints to the revelation of Larry’s suicide letter. Another symbol that pertained to Larry was the date November 25th. After Larry went missing, the family started to work on a horoscope for Larry in order to determine if it was his favorable day. This was important to Kate Keller because she believed that her son could not possibly have died on his favorable day. Chris Keller wanting to marry Ann also represents the idea of Larry. Certain people in the family tried to persuade Chris not to marry Ann because Larry had been engaged to Ann. Also, Joe told Chris not to marry Ann because his mother would be greatly upset because she saw Chris’s marrying Ann as the recognition that Larry had actually died.
Another symbol that was significant is the title, “All My Sons.” This saying was viewed differently through the eyes of Joe and Chris Keller. Chris viewed all of the other soldiers as his brothers, making them all (the Kellers and the soldiers) a large family. This view is different from the view of his father, Joe, who only recognizes his offspring .as his “sons.” A perfect example of Joe’s view influencing his actions is Joe telling Steve to send out the cracked heads. Joe’s narrow-mindedness did not allow him to realize that men would actually die from using the bad heads. Joe’s view can also be seen when he validates his actions by saying that he had done it for his family. Chris took offense to his father’s comments because Chris saw all the soldiers as his brothers.
In the story, All My Sons, symbols play an important role and influence some characters’ actions. Th tree, “November 25th”, and Chris’s marrying Ann all have to do with Larry Keller, and the title shows the differences between Joe and Chris Keller. It also shows the reader a good view of the strange relationship between Chris and his father.
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