Study Guide

All My Sons Act 3

By Arthur Miller

Act 3

  • It's the middle of the night. Kate is out in the yard. Chris is missing.
  • Jim comes back from a house call. He confesses to Kate that he has always known Joe is guilty. He tells her not to worry; Chris will come back. He'll figure out how to compromise and come back.
  • Jim offers to go look for Chris.
  • Joe comes in, upset that Jim is in his business. Kate's had about enough of her husband. She tells him that, if Chris comes back, Joe should offer to turn himself in.
  • Joe can't believe this. His family wanted money and so he made money. Now they are turning on him.
  • Kate explains that, for Chris, there's something bigger than the family. Joe can't understand that perspective. He's defined by his family.
  • Ann emerges. She has her own agenda. She won't do anything about Joe's guilt, but she demands that Kate admit to Chris that Larry is dead. She wants to get on with her life.
  • Kate refuses. Ann must leave her alone.
  • Joe exits.
  • Ann gets nuclear. She has a letter from Larry. She hadn't wanted to share it, but Kate leaves her no choice.
  • Chris shows up. He apologizes to Ann for being a coward, for suspecting his father and doing nothing about it. He wants to put him in jail now, but doesn't feel like he can.
  • Ann tries to comfort Chris. She doesn't expect him to do anything about Joe. But, in reality, she does.
  • Joe comes out defensive. He tells Chris to throw his money away, if he thinks it's so dirty. He's no worse than any other man in the world.
  • Chris knows that. He just thought Joe was better.
  • Ann gives Larry's letter to Chris. In it, Larry confesses that he plans to kill himself because of his father's guilt.
  • Joe gets it. He says he'll turn himself in. He goes inside.
  • Kate still wants Chris to give it up. But he wants to go through with it, just to teach them that they have to understand there are wider consequences for their actions.
  • A gunshot is heard inside. Chris goes to check, then comes back out. Joe has killed himself.
  • Kate tells him to not blame himself.