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All My Sons

All My Sons

by Arthur Miller

Memory and the Past Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

Chris: I've been thinking, y'know? – maybe we ought to put our minds to forgetting him? (1.273)

While Chris may be the most idealistic character in the play, his gentle request to let go of the past doesn't stem from concern for his mother. He's preparing the stage to marry Ann.

Quote #5

Ann: I guess I never grew up. It almost seems that Mom and Pop are in there now… Gosh, those dear dead days beyond recall. (1.348)

Ann has a placid relationship with the past – perhaps facilitated by the cut-and-dried decision she made to break with her father. Her happy memories contrast with the fraught way Kate, Joe, and Chris think about Larry.

Quote #6

Mother: [emotionally] You think of him! You see? [Triumphantly] She thinks of him!… he's in your thoughts.
Ann: That's a funny thing to say; how could I help remembering him? (1.358-361)

For Kate, Ann's reference to Larry is a vindication of her own faith that he's still alive. For Ann – who, even at this point, knows for a fact Larry is dead – it's just part of a memory.

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