45 pages 1 hour read

Arthur Miller

All My Sons

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1947

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Act IIIChapter Summaries & Analyses

Act III Summary

In the early hours of the morning, Kate sits alone on the porch. She stares up at the moon. Next door, Jim returns home after visiting a patient and loudly declares that he always believed Joe to be guilty. Chris has gone away by himself, Kate reveals. Jim assures Kate that, unlike her other son, Chris will return. However, he claims that Chris lacks the “talent” (143) needed to live with the truth about his father’s actions. He describes a time when he abandoned his wife for two months until she begged him to come back. He returned and now lives in the “usual darkness” (143).

Joe walks onto the porch. Kate tells her husband that he should consider handing himself over to the authorities, since so many people seem to know the truth. This infuriates Joe, who resents Jim’s interfering presence. Joe defends himself again. Everything he did, he claims, was to make money for his family. Kate understands that the idealistic Chris will never agree with Joe, as he believes in his integrity over everything else, even family. Joe cannot grasp this. If there were anything more important than family, he says, he would “put a bullet in [his] head” (145).