All My Sons
by Arthur Miller
All My Sons Memory and the Past Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue.
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.
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.
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.