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Wednesday, April 26 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
Throw Mama From The Play: The Motherless Works Of Eugene O'Neill

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This thesis examines the characters in Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie and Desire Under the Elms and argues that the main characters in these works are both abused and unable to achieve their goals because they lack a mother figure. The characters are finally given a chance to figure out who they could be independently from those around them, but I argue that they ultimately fail due to a lack of nurturing. As a result of their respective mother’s deaths, the characters sustain more abuse while trying to fill the necessary void that the lack of mothering has left behind; without which no character is able to function. My thesis demonstrates that there are no true romantic relationships, only misinterpretations and inappropriate interactions as a result of a lacking maternal connection. Additionally, I discuss O’Neill’s tortured childhood in which he suffered from an extremely traumatic home life as he was abandoned by his own mother. Providing the reader with his background further supports my claim that had a mother been present in his works (and his own life) the outcome of his writings would be very different.


Wednesday April 26, 2017 1:20pm - 1:40pm
232 Karpen Hall