- Created by: aliceeejonesss
- Created on: 23-04-20 18:33
Chris: Tell me, George. What happened?
George: What more do you want!
Ann: Someone's coming.
Mother: Why didn't you give him some juice!
This section is poignant as Miller reveals the close and affectionate relationship between Kate and George; reminding us that before Larry's death and the business scandal, the two families were closely related and lived next door.
Kate uses an affectionate diminutive 'Georgie' - a familiar and informal way of speaking.
George is touched and moved by Kate's love for him and he says that she hasn't changed. the characters are still the same in their essence, but what has changed is that events have now caught up with them. It will soon not be possible for the Kellers to go on denying the truth of Joe Keller's guilt and responsibility for the incident.
Ann: I offered it to him.
LYDIA enters on porch. As soon as she sees him:
The debate about whether Ann will keave with George is symbolic. Who Ann decides to side with shows her loyalties. This itself implies that she has rejected her father and her brother and she believes in Joe's innocence. On the other hand, leaving with George will show her loyalty for her family and that she would doubt her father's guilt.
George: The train leaves at 8.30, Ann Mother: You're leaving? Chris: No mother, she's not -
Language analysis: George's deceptively simple statement - about the time the train leaves - means more than a mere communication of information. it implies that this is the train George will catch, and that ann needs to come with him. This statement is elliptical and Kate understands the intent of George's question - hence she checks this with Ann. Chris loves Ann so answers on her behalf as Ann is confused and torn as to what to do. She loves Chris, but also loves her brother.
Lydia: Hey, Georgie! Georgie! Georgie! Georgie! Georgie!
Lydia: Oh, Frank!
This section breaks up some tension and the debate of whether or not Ann will leave with George. Lydia's reentrance shows us more about George's character. George was once in love with Lydia but as he was drafted into fighting in WW2 and so left the neighbourhood, she married Frank instead. The sight of Lydia reminds George of what could have been and what he has lost. Lydia calls 'Georgie' five times which is an emphatic demonstration of her excitement to see him. Like Kate, she uses this familiar diminutive of his name. George has a familiar nickname for her, 'Laughy' which suits her as she seems to be a pleasant and good-humoured person. they clearly have alot of affection for eachother. There is sadness in the stage directions as Miller indicates that George is 'hurt' by news that Lydia has 3 kids. With a mournful tone he says: 'I'm beginning to realize.' He is starting to see that he's been gone for a long time and the people he loved are now older and have moved on. He cannot turn back the clock hence he doesn't want to see her children as it would remind him too much of what he lost.
Mother: She got pretty, heh?
Mother: He never shot anybody.
Kate shows her ability to read people's emotions and to understand other people's thoughts and feelings. She is portrayed as an intuitive and understanding character. She senses that Chris and Ann are in love but she'd rather they weren't as Ann is 'Larry's girl.' She sees George is sad to see Lydia hence she wants to introduce him to a new girl. Language analysis: the conversation below portrays major themes of the play. Mother: Look what happened to you To: Chris: All the battles
Kate's main concerns are with family hence she berates George - while he was living up to ideals (fighting facism in WW2) another man fell in love with his woman. He is now without a family and wife which is why Frank is really the one who 'won the war.' He won Lydia and this is what matters in Kate and Keller's moral code. But for the younger characters, living up to ideals is important - how far do you have a responsibility to wider society? To higher ideals? And how far do you have a responsibility and duty to your family (a key theme.)
Keller: Well! Look who's here!
Keller: As long as I know him, twenty-five years, the man never learned how to take the blame. You know that, George.
George too is torn as he loves the Kellers, Kate in particular, and he grew up with the boys.He visited his father for the first time and this has shaken him. He is increasingly convinced that Keller needs to take responsibility.
George: it's everything, Joe. It's his soul.
Language Analysis: the noun 'soul' implies the root of Steven's being is sick. The injustice of his imprisonment and the rejection of his family as a consequence has clearly hit him hard. He is sick in his mind or essence as he has been wronged. This sickness has now affected George, who is troubled by it, and it will soon affect the Kellers as the truth of the incident is now certain to come out.
George: Well, I -
George: You too, Joe, you're all amazingly the same. The whole atmosphere is.
Keller senses that George is uneasy and he knows what really happened - he tries to regain control of the situation. He asserts that Steven was the type to make mistakes and blame others which unnerves George but he still tries to counteract these criticisms. Keller interrupts him multiple times. It is a hostile way of speaking as it implies that what George is saying is unimportant.
Language Analysis: George concludes the section with a moving comment on how much the Kellers mean to him - making his emotional dilemma all the more difficult as he grew up with this family and has a lot of affection for them. Being with them feels like 'home' and this is shown through his happiness at being back with the Kellers depsite being anxious and distressed for his father.
Keller: Say, I ain't got time to get sick.
Mother: why isn't it possible, why isn't it possible, Chris!
The mention of Keller's flu during WW2 abruptly changes the atmosphere. For example: George 'stands perfectly still' while Keller speaks of this as it refers to the night at the factory when the decision was made to send out faulty cylinders.
Kate forgets about the flu, shown by the filler 'Huhh?' which is spontaneous speech. It's purpose is to show us that Keller's flu might be more imaginary than real. This makes George suspicious and nervous. This behaviour implies that they are trying to cover something up.
Kate is trying to convince herself that Larry is still alive. If he died on a day that was supposedly 'favourable' then this makes it more likely, for Kate, that he can't have died. Or that he is missing rather than dead. But for Chris, this is more unwelcome evidence of his parents' inability to come to terms with Larry's death.
George: Don't you understand what she's saying? She just told you to go. What are you waiting for now?
Chris: And I'm his brother and he's dead, and I'm marrying his girl.
When George hears Kate's confirmation that Keller was never sick, and her hurried back track to deny this once she realises that she revealed a lie - he is only interested in talking to Ann.
George: Don't you understand what she's saying? She just told you to go. What are you waiting for now?
Language Analysis: George tries to get Ann to see the truth. Keller's flu was a cover up for Keller's own part in the decision made in the factory. Hence why George interprets this as Kate telling Ann to go - although she was never direct. The fact that Kate accidentally opens up the truth equals Ann's awareness that the Kellers are lying. Ann must now choose her family rather than the Kellers as they have been lying.
Mother: Never, never in this world!
Keller: How could I kill anybody?
Buried emotions that have been built up erupt. Kate's stress, made clear with the 'headache' and dreams, all comes out as does Keller's anger. Joe speaks hurtfully and honestly to Kate and she responds with a violent gesture. The extent to which Kate is deluding herself is made clear. She wants everyone to put their lives on hold to wait for Larry forever. Kate's emotionally heightened state is made clear as 'words come rolling out of her' and this choice of verb implies she has little choice over what she is saying and it is a strong impulse that is controlling her.
Kate: Till he comes; forever and ever till he comes!
She wants Larry to be alive so much that everyone must wait for him. If her family aren't waiting, then he must be dead. This is too painful for Kate to accept. The real reason for her pain is not just the obvious tragedy but the awareness of Keller's guilt and how this implicates his involvement.
Chris: Dad! Dad!
The end of Act Two.
Keller's distress and the extent of his own personal crisis are revealed in his broken account of what happened the night of the incident.He speaks as if he were guilty and he no longer tries to claim his innocence. Keller emphasises the stress he was under and he wants people to understand his own situation and 'see it human.' He was pressured to produce parts and he had a business to run and a family to support. His voice cracks as he recounts it all - a dramatic technique to portray his emotions.
You lay forty years into a business and they knock you out in five minutes.
Language analysis: Keller makes a sharp contrast between 'forty years' and 'five minutes' for rhetorical effect, to increase the power of what he is trying to communicate. The clauses are paralled.
Section U Part Two
Kate: Do you understand me now? As long as you live, that boy is alive. God does not let a son be killed by his father. Now you see, don't you? Now you see.
Stage directions indicate that Kate is 'beyond control' - showing her extreme emotions. Keller's fraud is also tied up with the family's grief and mourning for Larry. This is a painful emotional satet to bear - so Kate's way to deal with her grief and anger has been to deny that Larry is really dead.
As Chris hears his mother's outburst, and has just seen george's shock at discovering once and for all that the kellers were lying about the flu, then his own certainty is also brokwn. He questions his father which troubles Keller greatly - he is quiet and insistent, and his lack of a violent outburst of anger scares Keller even more.
Section V Part two
He is asking us to see his own dilemma - how hard it would be for him to know that his business would go bust in '5 minutes' and waste '40 years' of work if he didn't send out the parts he was contracted to produce.
Chris's emotional breakdown is just as severe. In reply to Keller's emotional appeal, Chris makes his own response. Chris too was under stress, he fought in WW2 and knows what it was like to watch fellow soldiers die. The fact that the faulty parts caused these deaths is painful for him for this reason.
Chris: Is that as far as your mind can see, the business? What is that, the world - the business? What the hell do you mean, you did it for me? Don't you have a country? Don't you live in the world?
Chris is frequent and fast and his insistent questions emphasises his rage. They don't understand eachother as Chris thinks it's meaningless to create a livelihood for his son if it meant killing his 'kids.'
Section V Part Three
Chris can't get why his father doesn't understand him - why he can't see that having ideals, like fighting in a war, also matter. And why having a responsibility outside of one's own family - to other people's families and children - also matter.
Chris feels like Keller is unrealistically trying to exclude the world as if only his family mattered. His question 'don't you live in this world?' is rhetorical and sarcastic. It effectviely makes the point that it is impossible to shut out the world - as his mother and father have tried to do.