The Acceptance Of Death

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The scene in All My Sons by Arthur Miller that was most meaningful to me was at the very end of the play when the letter is finally read aloud, and Kate has to accept not only that Larry is dead but also that he died by committing suicide. This scene was especially significant to me because I can understand the distress of finding out that someone you love has died and has died in a shocking way. I can relate to this scene because, in my own life, when I was seven years old I came home from school and saw my father crying. My parents told me that a car had hit my grandmother while she had been visiting her relatives in Israel. They told me she had died.
In the last scene of the play, Ann threatens Kate that if she does not tell Chris that his brother Larry is dead, then she is going to do it. Kate still holds onto the idea that Larry is alive, but when Ann says to Kate, “I said he is dead. I know! He crashed off the coast of China on November 25th! His engine didn’t fail him. But he died. I know,” Kate accuses her of lying and demands Ann to tell her how she knows this. Kate starts to allow herself to believe her son is dead, thinking that this was the worst thing in the world. But when Chris reads Larry’s letter aloud, Kate finds out that Larry actually killed himself after learning what his father had done during the War. Besides being devastated by the news, Kate also feels guilty because in the back of her head she knew that what her husband did was wrong, and boys have died as a result of it.
Although the circumstances are very different, I know how it feels to think that someone you love is alive, find out that he or she is dead, realize the death was caused by something that could have been prevented, and feel guilty about something you could have done before that person died. I was eleven years old when my grandma died crossing the street. I was in complete shock and didn’t really know how to react to this situation. I felt an ache in my heart that I had never felt before. I knew for sure that she had died, and somehow I could deal with that. However, even up to this day, I still have not asked my parents for the details of her death because I know I cannot cope with them. I never asked my parents whether the person who hit my grandma was drunk, if he had been arrested, if she died immediately or in the hospital, if the car was speeding, etcetera . All these questions have crossed my mind, however, I never ask my parents for the facts because it will make my grandmother’s death seem so real. I know that knowing all these certain details will make me be able to visualize my grandmother dying, and that will be way too painful. My grandmother and I were really close; I always went to her house for an hour after school to keep her company. We used to knit, talk, watch T.V, or just take a stroll down the park. The sad part is the day before she left to Israel I promised her I would come to say goodbye, and unfortunately I did not stick to my promise. Instead, I decided to go to a birthday party, and right now I cannot even remember whom that friend was! All I know now is that my grandmother left for Israel feeling disappointed in me. The guilt I feel sometimes when I think about the awful decision I made is unbearable. My grandmother died upset at me. I never even got a chance to tell her goodbye. The minute my dad told me she was dead, I felt a loss that I had never felt before. I had no one to go to after school, no one to knit with, and no one to laugh with. I still find it hard to accept that my grandmother is dead, but at least now I am able to talk about the beautiful memories that I shared with her.




I am glad I read ahead and finished the play. The last scene really brought up many painful memories. It was good that I read it alone in my bedroom because these memories always make me cry. I would not have been comfortable expressing these feelings in class. I never thought that a play about a man who did something illegal in World War 2 could affect me so personally. But Arthur Miller’s All My Sons did affect me in that way.





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