All My Sons

How is Joe Keller a tragic hero in the play All My Sons according to Aristotles definition of Tragic Hero?

Aristotles defintion : one who has misfortune which is brought on not "by vice and depravity but by some error in judgment."

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I don't see Joe as a hero of any kind, but I guess we all view events and people in different ways. Joe was guilty of a crime that was covered up for years. Did he love his family? Yes, he did. Did he allow his partner to go to jail when it fact he should have gone himself? Yes, again! Did he commit suicide in order to "save" himself from the judgement of others? Right.......... he did that.

Was Joe's misfortune brought on by an error in judgement? Yes, but this was far more than an error in judgement. Had his poor judgement stopped with the death of airmen defending our country.......... had he fessed up and admitted what he's done, then I might say the quote applied. But his actions afterward are calculated and planned; he knowingly allows someone else's family to be destroyed to save his own. Killing himself doesn't make him a hero, it makes him even more selfish than we initially believed. This of course is my opinion. If you have another I'd love to hear it!


All My Sons

A tagic hero (protagonist) is the character which MUST suffer because of his earlier behaviours. And they must have a flaw. Joe Kellers view is so limited that he cant seee beyond the boundaries of his business and his family. His limited world view is his flaw.Thats the way a tragedy gives the moral. Joe Keller caused 21 people died because of his action, eventually he was forced to accept responsibility of his deed. so he died at the end of the play. There is kind of a "what goes around, comes back around" incident for protagonists.

I see Joe Keller as a tragic hero, perhaps not the Greek tragic hero but a modern one. Joe Keller is a kind, friendly man with one flaw that leads him to his fatal fate. This man is beloved by the people and his family; one of the characteristics a tragic hero usually has. Besides, his flaw (his obssession with work and money-making) makes him commit a crime in the past which leads him to his fate eventually; this is another aspest of a tragic hero.

However, there are some aspects of Keller that do not put up with the traditional tragic hero, for example, his fact that he is not noble. Keller is a "self-made" man who has become rich as a consequence of the American dream and probably war too. Nonetheless, Miller probably wrote it this way to especifically criticise the American dream.

Keller, in the end commits suicide either because of his feeling of guiltiness or because he can´t face the society, we never get to know. However, one way or another, his death restores his family´s life. He can be compared with a Greek tragic hero, for example, Macbeth, who is liked by everybody, who has a flaw and who dies at the end because of his error; just like Keller.

In conclusion, I think Joe Keller is a tragic hero who has been updated to our age, as he is no longer a noble man but a rich ordinary man.

In the play we find out that Joe Keller was a man, guilty of a crime that was covered up for years. In the beginning he was portrayed as a loving family man and a well respected member of the community. On the other hand, though Keller may have appeared the loving, caring, family man; he also allowed his partner to go to jail when it fact, he was the man guilty of allowing the broken airplane parts to be shipped out and the one who did not accept true responsibility for his actions. However the question behind whether or not Joe Keller was truly a “tragic hero” is: did he commit suicide in order to "save" himself from the judgment of others, or did he choose to die, due to the burden of guilt he had finally come face to face with?

Miller describes Joe as "A heavy man of stolid 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 the 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." The description of Joe as a simpleton comes up again and again throughout the play. For example, Chris teasingly calls him an "elephant" and Kate refers to him as a "bull". However this description of Joe being a bull, may not only be a metaphor for his simplistic mind, but also his determination and strive towards that red flag, which in this case would be money and business. After George's ominous phone call, Kate warns her husband to "be smart now, Joe. The boy is coming. Be smart". Miller emphasizes Joe's lack of education as one justification for his criminal actions. We don't think Joe approved those cracked cylinder heads because he's stupid. He approved them because, as an uneducated man, he needs all the more desperately to protect his way of making a living.

Also, Miller's description of Joe being a "man among men", adds an almost heroic illusion to him. Suggesting that Keller, is one to be looked up to, one to be admired and one who has worked hard to earn his respectability as a business man. This could be seen as one of the typical aspects of a tragic hero.

It is very well possible that Joe Keller did not ship out the cracked airplane cylinders, purely for his own selfish desires as a business man, but due to the fact that he was under extreme pressure from the military to ship them out in the first place. In this case, Keller's downfall as a tragic hero is not as such the death of the 21 men, but his failure to accept the responsibility for his actions and destroy the lives of others in doing so. This excludes the idea completely because in the end he was not a hero, but an ordinary selfish man who cared only about his own reputation. If Keller had however respected responsibility, he would in my view be a true tragic hero; a well respected and caring man who's only downfall was in his error of judgment.

joe keller is realy guilt and he should acount for his crime

Joe Keller is a man who loves and values his family very much and has sacrificed everything, including his honour, in his struggle to make his family prosperous.

In the 1940s the American dream was one that everyone possessed. The American dream promised wealth, happiness and anything a citizen could ever want. This concept of perfect life was one that Joe tried his very hardest to live by so that he could provide for his family, most importantly his children. When Keller says “what the hell did I work for? That’s only for you Chris, the whole shootin’ match is for you,” this shows the reader very clearly that he feels it his duty to provide for his son.

All my sons is a very tragic play. It shows how a man can sacrifice his morals, responsibility and the truth to provide for his family so that they can live a perfectly plentiful life. This struggle for wealth and material goods involves Keller committing an awful crime because he wants his business to be successful. This is the cause of Keller’s downfall.

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. The reader sees how Keller places 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 as all he wanted was a happy family. When he learns that Larry committed suicide due to his conviction and that Chris could never truly forgive him, he feels that his life is not worth living as he doesn’t have the full love of his family, which is his biggest priority. He tried to convince Chris that his actions were for the betterment of his business and his family. He says “For you, a business for you!” This tells the reader that Keller was a very hard worker and all he did was for the family. After this line, Keller doesn’t sound like a murderer or a killer at all. Keller isn’t evil, he just has a tragic lack of vision. He comes across as a very loving and devoted father and husband who may have done something very wrong but did so entirely out of love for the family. At this point you could call Keller a hero.

Keller again proves that he loves his son when he tells 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 and that it is the most important thing in the world. This quote is quite ironic in the fact that Keller actually does put a bullet in his head when he finds out that there is something bigger than the immediate family, the universal one.

As the play unfolds Keller begins to realise that Chris doesn’t agree with his belief about family being the more important than society. Keller doesn’t approve with Chris’ beliefs and he proves this when he says “If Larry was alive he wouldn’t act like this. He understood the way the world is made.” Here Keller is saying that Larry was sensible and had the same perspective as Keller. He thinks he has made a failure out of Chris so he wants the comfort of believing that Larry would’ve become a success if he survived the war and would have been totally focused on his family.

Keller’s tragedy if founded in his misplaced family devotion. The main reason that Keller is a tragic hero is because he did something unforgiveable but with good intention. If he hadn’t shipped those cracked cylinder heads then he could have avoided this horrible situation.

Keller never actually faces up to the fact that it was his fault that twenty one pilots died. Even at the end where the reader thinks that he is facing the consequences because he says “ I can’t sleep here. I’ll feel better if I go,” he actually goes inside to shoot himself. By doing this he avoids taking responsibility of his actions and is rather like his former partner Steve Deever, who tried to push the blame without accepting any of it himself. Although Keller never properly faced the music, I still believe he was a tragic hero as he believed he had done nothing wrong as he was trying to look after his family. This is shown when he says, “You wanted money, so I made money. Why must I be forgiven?”

We know Keller is wealthy because in the introduction we are told that the house would have cost fifteen thousand dollars and that was a lot of money in those days, so we can be sure that Keller’s highpoint was achieving the American dream. Miller’s description of Joe being a “man among men”, adds an almost heroic illusion to him. He is looked up to in the neighbourhood, people come and play cards and have friendly chats with him. He is a respected figure in society. This could be seen as one of the typical aspects of a tragic hero. He is admired due to the fact that he has worked hard to earn his respectability as a businessman and the way he manages to wriggle out of a prison sentence. This shows a very corrupt society and I think that this is what Miller wanted to point out, that there is another tragedy in the play besides Keller’s tragedy. It is that the society in which we live in is one where we do not look out for others and devote ourselves as much as Keller to family. It is all about ‘survival of the fittest’ and that is what Chris has been trying to stand up against.

Keller’s tragedy is that he works very hard to provide for his family and in the end shoots himself due to his guilt. By doing this he has given up everything which he has worked so hard for.

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word for word what robbie said. EXACTLY.


true robbie

@jill D you are wrong joe is a tragic hero and im not gonna stand for you and telling the world that the Joe Keller is not a tragic hero. If you dont know what you are talking about then dnt write it online. Everybody who read your answer lost brain cells. In the future please dont respond to questions because clearly you have no idea what you are talking about.


www.realinformationnot jill D's false

Hey @jill D. What the fuck!!! He is a tragic hero. His flaw is his misjudgement you dumb horse. I think that you should re-read this, the shortest fucking play ever. While youre at your duaghters soccer game you can read it. You are wrong joe is a tragic hero and im not gonna stand for you and telling the world that the Joe Keller is not a tragic hero. If you dont know what you are talking about then dnt write it online. Everybody who read your answer lost brain cells. In the future please dont respond to questions because clearly you have no idea what you are talking about. By the way I think you should change your profile picture. It reminds me of my moms vagina.

PS I kissed your son!!!

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