All My Sons

Influence of Larry

How strong is the influence of Larry? Give examples.

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Although he has been dead for some years by the start of the play, Larry is as much a character in the play as anyone who actually appears on stage. His disappearance haunts his family through his mother's superstitious belief in his return, as well as through his brother's wary but measured rejection of Larry's claim on his childhood sweetheart. Larry is constantly compared to Chris throughout the play, ostensibly 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.