45 pages 1 hour read

Arthur Miller

All My Sons

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1947

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Act IChapter Summaries & Analyses

Act I Summary

Joe Keller is an American businessman who lives in a small town. On a Sunday morning in August 1946, he reads the want ads in the newspaper in his backyard. Dr. Jim Bayliss and Frank Lubey live nearby. They visit Joe and make small talk. They discuss movies, tobacco, and advertisements. The previous night, an important apple tree in Joe’s yard was blown down by the wind. The tree was planted to honor the memory of Joe’s son Larry, who went missing three years earlier during World War II. Joe’s wife Kate still believes that Larry may be alive. She has asked Frank to assemble a horoscope based on November 25, the day when Larry went missing. She wants to determine whether this was “a favorable day for Larry” (85). She refuses to give up the possibility that Larry may be alive.

Joe and Kate have another son, Chris, who has invited a young woman named Ann Deever to stay at the Keller home. Years earlier, Ann was Larry’s girlfriend. She and her family lived in the house now owned by Jim, but moved to a different house around the time of Larry’s disappearance.