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kate keller - a mother's hosti


            
             In Michael Blakemore's 1987 production of Arthur Miller's play, All My Sons, Rosemary Harris portrayed the character of Kate Keller "as a woman using the truth as a weapon against the man who had harmed her son- (Arthur Miller, interview with Matthew C. Roudané, 1989). According to Miller, Harris's Kate "sees the horror most clearly because she was a partner to it without having committed it."" In the Arden Theater's production of All My Sons, Carla Belver portrays the character of Kate in much the same way as Harris did all those years ago. Belver's Kate can be seen as being similarly sinister in her advice to her husband, Joe Keller, her violent behavior, and her usage of the truth to control her family.
             There are several times throughout the duration of the play where the audience finds Joe and Kate Keller alone on the stage. This occurs every time a new conflict involving the incident at Joe's plant arises. In each of these conversations, Kate can be heard giving Joe advice. She repeats to him throughout the play, "be smart now, Joe- (Miller 40). This reveals to the audience that she knows about what went on that day in the plant. In the written play, it is not as obvious that she is advising him because he is guilty. It seems more like she is telling him to be careful not to provoke anyone who might still be suspicious. In the actual production, however, Belver delivers Kate's lines in a way that tells the audience that she knows the truth and that she helped to conceal it.
             Similarly frequent was Kate's tendency to lash out at anyone who challenged her beliefs. It was obvious from the opening of the play that Kate was convinced that her son, Larry, was going to return one day. Unfortunately, she was the only character who felt that way. On several occasions, various characters, including her other son, Chris, and her husband, try to reason with her and bring her to accept the fact that her son is probably not coming back.


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