How does Miller present Joe Keller as a tragic hero in All My Sons?

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How does Miller present Joe Keller as a tragic hero in All My Sons?

        Joe Keller is a man who loves and values his family very much. Like most Americans he has given everything so he can have the big house, the fancy car and the bulging wallet. He has given everything so he can have the American Dream. Unfortunately for Keller, everything isn’t as perfect as it seems.

        “All My Sons” is a very tragic play. It shows how a man can sacrifice everything including the honour of his name to make his family prosperous. This struggle for wealth and material goods involves Keller doing an awful crime because he wants his family to be wealthy. This is the cause of Keller’s downfall.

        In “All My Sons” Miller examines the morality of a man who places his narrow responsibility to his immediate family above his wider responsibility to the men who rely on the integrity of his work. “All My Sons” shows Keller placing his family in front of society.

        At the end of “All My Sons” Keller disappears offstage and shoots himself. This is a very tragic thing to happen because all Keller wanted was a happy family. When Chris finds out that Keller, his father, had allowed faulty cylinder heads to be sent out of his factory, Keller proves to the audience that he wanted good to come from it by saying “…what the hell did I work for? That’s only for you, Chris, the whole shootin’ match is for you” on page 102 and ”For you, a business for you!” on page 158. This tells the audience that Keller was a very hard worker and that all the hard work he did was for his family. After hearing this Keller doesn’t sound like a murderer or a killer at all. He sounds like a very loving and devoted father and husband who may have done something wrong but he did so entirely for the love of his family. At this point you could even call Keller a hero.

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        Keller again proves to the audience that he loves his son on page 163 when he says to Kate “There’s nothin’ he could do that I wouldn’t forgive. Because he’s my son… I’m his father and he’s my son, and if there’s something bigger than that I’ll put a bullet in my head!”. Although this shows Keller’s irresponsibility towards society it also shows Keller’s devotion to his family. Keller obviously believes that family is the most important thing in the world.

This little speech of Keller’s is also very ironic because at the end of the play Keller does ...

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