"A heavy man of [calm] mind and build, a business man these many years, but with the imprint of the machine-shop worker and boss still upon him. When he reads, when he speaks, when he listens, it is with terrible concentration of the uneducated man for whom there is still wonder in many commonly known things, a man whose judgments must be dredged out of experience and a peasant-like common sense. A man among men." (Act One: Miller 5)
- Husband of Kate
- Father of Chris and Larry
- A family man whose world does not extend beyond the borders of his front yard or the gate around his factory
- He is considerably uneducated, but fends off of knowledge gain through experience and age (5)
- He is very sympathetic, especially when concerning family. (12-13)
- He has a talent for ignoring things. (14)
- He is not a greedy, but rather a good-natured and loving man of little education, whose perspective on his world stems from a devotion to his family and an education in a society that encourages generally antisocial behavior
- American rugged individualism alienated Keller who’s past misdeeds haunt the future of his family.
Joe Keller’s Connection to, All My Sons:
- Joe Keller appears to be the man within the play whom others come to either visit him or ask of his advice and outlook. Throughout the description displayed at the beginning of the play, Joe seems to play a big part during the drama. (5-15)
- Before this chunk of Joe Keller’s life was actually scripted, he had owned a business/factory with Ann Deever’s father, Steve. Together, during the war, they produced cylinder heads for airplanes used in war called, P-40s. The day came when the two had received faulty parts, with so-called “hairline cracks”. Joe had told Steve that he was unable to make it to work that day to decide about what they should do with the parts, due to an illness. But, instead he had told Steve to go ahead, patch them up and ship them out. He, (Joe) said that if they were to get busted, he would take any blame and reasonability that came along with this decision. (26-28; 46)
- Nonetheless, they were caught and Joe stated that he was indeed innocent and did not take any responsibility for his action, (in which he is/was contradicting what he had stated upon earlier in the play). The faulty parts had caused numerous planes to crash, killing twenty-one pilots, possibly the death/disappearance of Joe’s own son Larry, due to the fact that he was a pilot.
- In the end, everyone is aware of Joe’s decision to go ahead and ship the faulty parts, making him guilty and therefore to escape the guilt of his action, to end his life. (68-69)
In her early fifties
"A woman of uncontrolled inspirations, and an overwhelming capacity for love."
- Wife of Joe Keller
- Mother of Chris and Larry
- Still believes that her son Larry is alive even after three years. There are times when she walks around at night dreaming and thinking of Larry. (p. 18).
- Kate cannot abandon the memory of her son Larry, who was lost in the war and is unable to cope with the loss of her own child.
- Kate becomes obsessed with her idea that Larry is still alive out there, in which she makes herself sick while also holding back her other son, Chris, from living his life completely as a result of not wanting to lose him.
- Her fantasies about Larry are constructed from a sense of self-preservation, and the flimsy basis for her hopes is threatened any time someone who loved Larry intimates that he or she may not share Kate's confidence in his return.
Kate Keller’s Connection to, All My Sons:
- Kate wants to believe that Ann Deever still thinks of her son Larry. But, when she begins to sense a connection between her other son Chris and Ann, she becomes angry. She then becomes a “human obstacle” that is in the way of the marriage of Chris and Ann. (17-25; Continued throughout the play)
- Kate attempts to get rid of Ann by making her go back home, in hope for the return of Larry, so that they can get married, instead of Chris and Ann. Kate believes than Ann is “Larry’s girl”.
- Kate had taken on the burden of Joe’s secret with the faulty parts, and on an accident lets out that Joe had never been sick. Also, that he used his “illness” as an excuse for not helping Steve make a decision upon the faulty plane parts. (55; Continued throughout the play)
Age Not Mentioned
Larry Keller is not a physical character that acts upon onstage, but he is mentioned quite frequently throughout the play.
- Son of Joe and Kate Keller
- Brother of Chris Keller
- Before he had went of to war as a plane pilot, Larry planned to marry Ann Deever
Larry Keller’s Connection To, All My Sons:
- Larry disappeared when he was at war and while his brother and father are trying to move on, his mother still believes that he is alive.
- One day when Ann Deever went over to visit the Keller’s she brought over the suicide letter that she had received from Larry the day he had disappeared.
- Larry is constantly compared to Chris throughout the play, seemingly for the purpose of better defining the character of Chris, but in the end we learn that Larry's own character had quite an effect on the story.
- Larry is portrayed by his father as the more sensible and practical of his sons, the one with a head for business who would understand his father's arguments.
- Larry, not Chris, possessed the stronger sense of honor and connectedness, and Larry sacrificed himself in penance for his father's misdeeds.
"Like his father, solidly built, a listener. A man capable of immense affection and loyalty."
- Son of Joe and Kate Keller (Second Oldest)
- Brother of Larry Keller
- Cautious and reserved
- Seeks to marry Ann Deever (Ann’s Fiancé)
- Family man and devoted to his parents
- He holds his family together after the disappearance of Larry
- Chris likes to read the book section in the paper, but never buys a physical book.
- He seems to get annoyed pretty quickly. (14)
- Chris is quite a considerate young man, but seems to have lost a lot because of it. He gets irritated because he constantly has to change to fit under the radar of most people. (14-15)
- Chris works at his father’s factory/business. He has a lot of money, but he feels guilty about having the money, because it is from his father.
- He is uncomfortable with the success his father's business found during the war, when so many of his comrades died pointlessly. He redirects his discomfort into idealism and an attitude of social awareness that is foreign to his family environment.
Chris Keller’s Connection to, All My Sons:
- Chris threatens to leave the business; if his father does not help both he and Ann pursue their marriage plans. Chris truly longs for his mother’s approval of the marriage and insists on marrying Ann. But, Kate holds this decision back from Chris, due to the fact that she still believes that Larry is still alive, and states that Larry is the one for Kate. (13-15)
- Chris also believes that his father is not the one to blame for the faulty plane parts. (46-47)
Age not mentioned
"That frightened mouse that'd never buy a shirt without somebody along..."
- Steve is described as a shy, timid man. He is Small and easily frightened.
- Father of George and Ann Deever
- He once worked for Joe Keller, but the was then imprisoned after sending out faulty cylinder heads to the military.
Steve Deever’s Connection To, All My Sons:
- As a worker for Joe Keller, Steve was instructed to patch up and ship out the faulty plane parts even though he wanted Joe to check them first. Joe also told him that if they were to get caught with this decision that he (Joe) would take the blame. But, it is actually Steve he gets put in jail as Joe holds back on his promise, while Steve is in his position and Joe is in Steve’s. His son George describes his father as a frightened mouse that had no choice but to ship out those parts, due to their demand within the war. (28; 46-47)
"Gentle but despite herself capable of holding fast to what she knows."
- Sister of George Deever
- Larry's girl" (used to date Larry before he disappeared)
- Fiancé of Chris
- A beautiful young woman
- She is an honest, down-to-earth girl, and she is emboldened by the strength of certain of her convictions
- Quite sensitive (26)
- Does not talk to her father anymore after his imprisonment
- Planned to marry Larry Keller before he went off to war
- Ann’s father was Joe Keller's business partner during the war and was the one who shipped the faulty parts after Joe told him so.
- After Larry disappeared and her father was put in prison for the faulty parts, she moves to New York with her mother and brother.
- Chris proposes to Ann and she says yes, but her brother George and Kate Keller are against it.
- Ann shows the Keller family the suicide letter she got from Larry the day he disappeared.
Ann Deever’s Connection to, All My Sons:
- Ann and Chris have made it clear to all that they both wish to marry each other. Ann refuses to return to her hometown of New York to consult with her father on this decision, after what had occurred with the faulty plane parts. (45)
"A paler man, now on the edge of his self-restraint. He speaks quietly, as though afraid to find himself screaming."
- Brother of Ann Deever
- Practices as a lawyer
- George is upset because of what happened to his father Steve.
- He dives into things too quickly; he's hasty. (p. 45).
- George is very angry that his sister Ann is planning to marry Chris because he believes that Joe Keller is guilty and the Keller family will hurt them.
George Deever’s Connection to, All My Sons:
- His arrival in the second act is a catalyst for a situation that was on edge from long-established tensions. His disdain is for the crime, not for the man, and now that he has been newly convinced of his father's innocence (after visiting him and hearing his side of the story), he is here to rescue his sister from entering the family of the man he believes is actually guilty. (42-45)
- George is able to release the truth from inside of Joe Keller, to admit that he was the one that was indeed guilty for the faulty plane parts. (42-45)
Doctor Jim Bayliss
"A wry self-controlled man, an easy talker, but with a wisp of sadness that clings even to his self-effacing humor."
- Husband of Sue Bayliss
- Neighbor of the Keller Family (Where he spends a lot of time at)
- His job consists of an in home doctor
- He is a very practical and realistic man
- He is one who believes in the duty of one man to help another, but he at the same time acknowledges a man's responsibility to his family.
Dr. Jim Bayliss’ Connection to, All My Sons:
- When Joe Keller finally admits that he was responsible for the shipping of the faulty parts, Dr. Jim Bayliss then reveals to Kate Keller that he knew of Joe's guilt for a long time, but never said anything. (61)
- He once left his wife to do medical research, but he eventually went home, putting his responsibility to his family ahead of his responsibility to the world.
- He is constantly being nagged by his wife about house calls that he has to do which leads to him telling Chris about sacrifice and how he is truly unhappy.
"An overweight woman who fears it."
- Wife of Dr. Jim Bayliss
- She is very realistic and was a former nurse
- She is also serious, stern and a very quirky lady
- Sue Bayliss is always calling and nagging her husband, Jim to go to people's houses to treat them.
- She doesn't like the Keller family because she believes that they “act” as a “perfect family” which they aren’t, which she then thinks makes she and her family look bad.
Sue Bayliss’ Connection to, All My Sons:
- Sue does not like Chris Keller; in addition she does not completely trust his father Joe Keller. She believes that Chris is way too idealistic and brings her husband Jim down. As well as, she does not trust Joe because he was the person who had gotten Steve Deever locked up in jail due to the faulty parts and deaths of the pilots. (37-39)
Thirty-Two, but balding
"A pleasant, opinionated man, uncertain of himself, with a tendency toward peevishness when crossed, but always wanting it pleasant and neighborly."
- Husband of Lydia Lubey
- Neighbor of the Keller Family
- Frank had never entered the war because he was a year older than the draft, this lead him to pursue his interest in astrology.
Frank Lubey’s Connection to, All My Sons:
- He's has the mind to believe; he has been making a horoscope about Larry upon the request of Kate, to find out his “favorable day” to see if he is still alive. (6-7)
- Both his assumptions and thoughts along with Kate Keller’s convinced both them and us as readers that Larry was still alive, though he was not. (55-56)
"She is a robust, laughing girl..."
- Wife of Frank Lubey
- Lydia is carefree
- Former sweetheart of George Deever, but did not wait for him to return from war and married Frank
- She is a shy, gentle, and kind young woman (9)
Lydia Lubey’s Connection To, All My Sons:
- Lydia makes George wistful about the simpler life he could have had, if he had not left home for the greater world of New York.
- She has three children with Frank, and according to Joe Keller it was an honor to have sons, in which Lydia has three.
Just About Eight
“He's curious, determined, skeptical, and assertive, as is any other kid” (11-12)
- Young neighborhood boy
- Neighbor of the Keller’s
- Extremely playful, likes to play cops and detectives with Joe Keller, to Kate’s extent of play
Bert’s Connection To, All My Sons:
- Joe Keller tells Bert that he is the police officer of the town which Kate has a problem with, due to the fact that she doesn't like that Joe continues to talk about his jail and court deal after everything that had occurred with the faulty part case.
- Joe Keller has allowed Bert and the other children to get the story of his jail time wrong and to believe that he is a chief of police with a jail in his basement. Mother is made very anxious by these games.
- Bert’s role in the play was used to preserve his innocence of Joe’s actions with the faulty parts, as well as to convince those that Keller did not do anything wrong.