Study Guide

Sue Bayliss in All My Sons

By Arthur Miller

Sue Bayliss

Sue is Doctor Jim Bayliss's wife. Because she put her husband through medical school, she still has a sort of power over him, which she exerts to keep her family materially comfortable. Sue is cynical and pragmatic. She asks Ann, when she marries Chris, to take him far, far away. I her opinion, he's a bad influence on her husband. When idealistic Chris is around, Jim wants to work in research instead of making house calls to well-paying hypochondriacs. "Research pays twenty-five dollars a week minus laundering the hair shirt," says Sue, and she wants her husband to forget the option even exists (2.65). Money-grubbing Sue provides a comic echo of the obsession with money that drove Joe to make his fateful decision.