In this essay I will be writing a character analysis of the three members of the Keller family- Joe Keller, Chris Keller and Kate Keller. I will explore their different characteristics. I will be assessing each characters emotions, beliefs, and reactions to different situations.
Joe Keller Middle aged and prosperous. He is a family man, who adores his beloved wife, and wants the best for Chris, his only son sadly his other son had been a victim in the war. Joe loves Kate and feels in order to protect her he has to lie to her, to prevent her from feeling hurt and alone. When the tree planted in the Keller garden as a memorial for Larry, breaks Joe is concerned and worried how Kate will react; “we ought to tell her before she see’s it.”(pg 12) Also when Chris announces to his dad about wanting to marry Ann he listens sympathetically to his plans, yet he warns Chris to hold back because of mother’s feelings; “From mothers point of view.. You have no right to take Larry’s girl” (pg 14) However he’s not just protecting mother but he’s also protecting Chris, because he doesn’t want him to get upset if Kate doesn’t agree, and give them her blessing. He cares about Chris a great deal, and Joe and Chris have a great father and son relationship. Through-out the book there is a lot of emotional caring, for example; “the whole shooting match is for you”(pg 16) here Joe is telling Chris about how he’s, over the years built up the business for him. Also Joe offers to; “build, you a house, with a driveway from the road” (pg 36) this shows hoe Joe cares for Chris with material goods.
Joe comes across as a typical business man, always mentioning; “money”(pg 34) and his: “business”(pg 15). He cares about money a great deal and values everything by it’s monetary value: “You mean he‘ll make a living out of that?”(pg 5) and: “I want you to use what I made for you.”(pg 36)
He tries to keep everyone happy, and wants everyone to get along. He agrees with Chris about how it is bad to allow Kate to keep believing Larry is alive, but he also doesn’t want to destroy her fantasy: “we can’t say that to her” (pg 13.) This could also be a mild form of lying, which links in with Joe not telling the truth about the Airplane parts, and the deaths of 21 pilots due to faulty cylinder heads. Joe makes up a phoney excuse about being ill, whilst one of his labourers Steve Deeveer fixes together some faulty cracked cylinder heads for the army planes. In Steve’s mind he believes they be able to hold up, and none of it was intentional yet it was preventable: “I could have gone in that day I’d a told him- junk ‘em, Steve, we an afford it”(pg 31) He told a lie to the court and luckily Joe got off, however Steve was sentenced. This makes us wonder if he’s lied about anything else, keeping a big secret like this makes the audience wonder what else is he capable of?