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Title: Desire Under the Elms Author: Eugene O'Neill () * A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook * eBook No.: Edition: 1 Language: . Desire Under the Elms is written by the legendary American playwright. Eugene O'Neill ( - ). It was published in and performed on November. Desire Under the Elms. Goodman Theatre. Student Subscription Series. / Season. Student Guide written by. Eugene O'Neill. Student Guide written.

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Desire Under the Elms: A Play by Eugene O'Neil. Desire Under the Elms is the last of O'Neil's naturalistic plays written in three parts with each part in split into. Desire Under the Elms. photo by craig schwartz. Study Guide. Table of Contents. 3Cast of Characters & Setting. 4About the Play: Synopsis. PDF | Greek mythology serves as the background of this play. O' Neill Desire Under the Elms is also the first of O' Neill's drama in which the.

It was lonesomer 'n hell with her. After a matter o' sixteen odd years, she died. They hated me 'cause I was hard. I hated them 'cause they was soft. They coveted the farm without knowin' what it meant.

It made me bitter 'n wormwood. It aged me--them coveting what I'd made fur mine. Then this spring the call come--the voice o' God cryin' in my wilderness, in my lonesomeness--t' go out an' seek an' find! Yew air my Rose o' Sharon! Yer eyes air like. She has turned a blank face, resentful eyes to his.

He stares at her for a moment--then harshly Air ye any the wiser fur all I've told ye? If ye don't hev a son t' redeem ye. This in a tone of cold threat.

I kin foretell. She gives a queer smile. Ye give me the chills sometimes. He shivers. It's cold in this house. It's oneasy. They's thin's pokin' about in the dark--in the corners. He pulls on his trousers, tucking in his night shirt, and pulls on his boots. They know. They know the farm an' me.

They'll give me peace. He turns to go out the door. Growin' ripe on the bough. He turns and goes, his boots clumping down the stairs. Eben sits up with a start, listening. Abbie is conscious of his movement and stares at the wall. Cabot comes out of the house around the corner and stands by the gate, blinking at the sky.

He stretches up his hands in a tortured gesture. God A'mighty, call from the dark! He listens as if expecting an answer.

Then his arms drop, he shakes his head and plods off toward the barn. Eben and Abbie stare at each other through the wall. Eben sighs heavily and Abbie echoes it. Both become terribly nervous, uneasy. Finally Abbie gets up and listens, her ear to the wall. He acts as if he saw every move she was making, he becomes resolutely still. She seems driven into a decision--goes out the door in rear determinedly.

His eyes follow her. Then as the door of his room is opened softly, he turns away, waits in an attitude of strained fixity. Abbie stands for a second staring at him, her eyes burning with desire.

Then with a little cry she runs over and throws her arms about his neck, she pulls his head back and covers his mouth with kisses. At first, he submits dumbly; then he puts his arms about her neck and returns her kisses, but finally, suddenly aware of his hatred, he hurls her away from him, springing to his feet. They stand speechless and breathless, panting like two animals. EBEN-- harshly I don't want t' be happy--from yew! Ye do! Why d'ye lie?

ABBIE-- with an uncertain troubled laugh Waal, I kissed ye anyways--an' ye kissed back--yer lips was burnin'--ye can't lie 'bout that!

EBEN-- wiping his mouth It was like pizen on 'em. Did ye r'ally go? I thought ye mightn't. Is that why ye throwed me off jest now? EBEN-- sneeringly What if it be? EBEN-- threateningly Ye can't talk that way t' me! Did ye think I was in love with ye--a weak thin' like yew!

Not much! I on'y wanted ye fur a purpose o' my own--an' I'll hev ye fur it yet 'cause I'm stronger'n yew be! EBEN-- resentfully I knowed well it was on'y part o' yer plan t' swaller everythin'! EBEN-- furious Git out o' my room! Ye want me, don't ye? Yes, ye do! An' yer Paw's son'll never kill what he wants!

Look at yer eyes! They's lust fur me in 'em, burnin' 'em up! Look at yer lips now! They're tremblin' an' longin' t' kiss me, an' yer teeth t' bite! He is watching her now with a horrible fascination. She laughs a crazy triumphant laugh. I'm a-goin' t' make all o' this hum my hum! They's one room hain't mine yet, but it's a-goin' t' be tonight. I'm a-goin' down now an' light up! She makes him a mocking bow. Won't ye come courtin' me in the best parlor, Mister Cabot?

EBEN-- staring at her--horribly confused--dully Don't ye dare! It hain't been opened since Maw died an' was laid out thar! Don't ye. But her eyes are fixed on his so burningly that his will seems to wither before hers.

He stands swaying toward her helplessly. ABBIE-- holding his eyes and putting all her will into her words as she backs out the door I'll expect ye afore long, Eben. EBEN-- stares after her for a while, walking toward the door. A light appears in the parlor window. He murmurs In the parlor? This seems to arouse connotations for he comes back and puts on his white shirt, collar, half ties the tie mechanically, puts on coat, takes his hat, stands barefooted looking about him in bewilderment, mutters wonderingly Maw!

Whar air yew? The interior of the parlor is shown. A grim, repressed room like a tomb in which the family has been interred alive. Abbie sits on the edge of the horsehair sofa. She has lighted all the candles and the room is revealed in all its preserved ugliness. A change has come over the woman. She looks awed and frightened now, ready to run away. The door is opened and Eben appears.

His face wears an expression of obsessed confusion. He stands staring at her, his arms hanging disjointedly from his shoulders, his feet bare, his hat in his hand.

EBEN-- dully Ay-eh. Mechanically he places his hat carefully on the floor near the door and sits stiffly beside her on the edge of the sofa. They both remain rigid, looking straight ahead with eyes full of fear.

EBEN-- simply Maw. I wanted t' yell an' run. Now--since yew come--seems like it's growin' soft an' kind t' me. EBEN--Maw allus loved me.

Mebbe that makes it kind t' me. EBEN-- dully I dunno. I should think she'd hate ye. I kin feel it don't--not no more.

EBEN--Hate ye fur stealin' her place--here in her hum--settin' in her parlor whar she was laid-- He suddenly stops, staring stupidly before him. It's kind t' me! It don't b'ar me no grudges fur what I never knowed an' couldn't help! EBEN--Maw b'ars him a grudge. Don't git riled thinkin' o' him. Think o' yer Maw who's kind t' us. Tell me about yer Maw, Eben.

EBEN--They hain't nothin' much. She was kind. She was good. ABBIE-- putting one arm over his shoulder. He does not seem to notice--passionately I'll be kind an' good t' ye!

EBEN--Sometimes she used t' sing fur me.

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EBEN--This was her hum. This was her farm. This is my farm! EBEN--He married her t' steal 'em. She was soft an' easy. He couldn't 'preciate her. EBEN--He murdered her with his hardness. EBEN--She died. He bursts into a fit of sobbing. I'll die fur ye! In spite of her overwhelming desire for him, there is a sincere maternal love in her manner and voice--a horribly frank mixture of lust and mother love.

Don't cry, Eben! I'll take yer Maw's place! I'll be everythin' she was t' ye! Let me kiss ye, Eben! She pulls his head around. He makes a bewildered pretense of resistance. She is tender. Don't be afeered! I'll kiss ye pure, Eben--same 's if I was a Maw t' ye--an' ye kin kiss me back 's if yew was my son--my boy--sayin' good-night t' me!

Kiss me, Eben. They kiss in restrained fashion.

Then suddenly wild passion overcomes her. She kisses him lustfully again and again and he flings his arms about her and returns her kisses.

Suddenly, as in the bedroom, he frees himself from her violently and springs to his feet. He is trembling all over, in a strange state of terror. Abbie strains her arms toward him with fierce pleading. Don't ye leave me, Eben! Can't ye see it hain't enuf--lovin' ye like a Maw--can't ye see it's got t' be that an' more--much more--a hundred times more--fur me t' be happy--fur yew t' be happy?

EBEN-- to the presence he feels in the room Maw! What d'ye want? What air ye tellin' me? She knows I love ye an' I'll be good t' ye. Can't ye feel it? Don't ye know? She's tellin' ye t' love me, Eben! I feel--mebbe she--but--I can't figger out--why--when ye've stole her place--here in her hum--in the parlor whar she was-- ABBIE-- fiercely She knows I love ye!

EBEN-- his face suddenly lighting up with a fierce, triumphant grin I see it! I sees why. It's her vengeance on him--so's she kin rest quiet in her grave!

What d'we give a durn? I love ye, Eben! God knows I love ye! She stretches out her arms for him. EBEN-- throws himself on his knees beside the sofa and grabs her in his arms--releasing all his pent-up passion An' I love yew, Abbie!

I been dyin' fur want o' ye--every hour since ye come! I love ye! Their lips meet in a fierce, bruising kiss. It is just dawn. The front door at right is opened and Eben comes out and walks around to the gate. He is dressed in his working clothes. He seems changed. His face wears a bold and confident expression, he is grinning to himself with evident satisfaction. As he gets near the gate, the window of the parlor is heard opening and the shutters are flung back and Abbie sticks her head out.

Her hair tumbles over her shoulders in disarray, her face is flushed, she looks at Eben with tender, languorous eyes and calls softly ABBIE--Eben. I'm goin' t' miss ye fearful all day. EBEN--An' me yew, ye kin bet! He goes to her. They kiss several times. He draws away, laughingly Thar. That's enuf, hain't it? Ye won't hev none left fur next time.

Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953)

That's gospel! Now air yew satisfied? She smiles at him adoringly. EBEN--I better git t' the barn. The old critter's liable t' suspicion an' come sneakin' up. I kin allus pull the wool over his eyes. I'm goin' t' leave the shutters open and let in the sun 'n' air. This room's been dead long enuf. Now it's goin't' be my room! EBEN-- frowning Ay-eh.

We give it life--our lovin' did. She kin sleep now.

EBEN--It jest come up in my mind o' itself. He doesn't answer. She yawns. Waal, I'm a-goin' t' steal a wink o' sleep. I'll tell the Old Man I hain't feelin' pert.

Let him git his own vittles. EBEN--I see him comin' from the barn. Ye better look smart an' git upstairs. Don't ferget me. She throws him a kiss. He grins--then squares his shoulders and awaits his father confidently. Cabot walk slowly up from the left, staring up at the sky with a vague face. Star-gazin' in daylight? EBEN-- looking around him possessively It's a durned purty farm.

EBEN-- grinning How d'ye know? Them eyes o' your'n can't see that fur. This tickles his humor and he slaps his thigh and laughs.

That's a good un! Whar'd ye steal the likker? EBEN-- good-naturedly 'Tain't likker. Jest life. Let's shake hands. EBEN--Then don't. Mebbe it's jest as well. She kin rest now an' sleep content. She's quits with ye. I slept good--down with the cows. They know how t' sleep. They're teachin' me. EBEN-- suddenly jovial again Good fur the cows!

Waal--ye better git t' work. EBEN-- beginning to laugh Ay-eh! I'm bossin' yew. See how ye like it! I'm the prize rooster o' this roost. Like his Maw. Dead spit 'n' image. No hope in him! He spits with contemptuous disgust. A born fool!

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He goes toward door. In this play, for the first time, O'Neill begins to see the problem of tragedy in modern drama as opposed to the classical and traditional interpretation. In this play he departs from the traditional interpretations of Aristotle, a departure that made it possible to develop his later and greater tragedies such as Mourning Becomes Electra, The Iceman Ccrmeth, and Long Day's Journey Into Night.

O'Neill had, of course, read Aristotle's Poetics, but it does not follow that he studied the Poetics, analyzed twenty centuries of criticism, and then exemplified his own theory in a conscious dramatic structure. He began in a simpler manner, as no doubt Sophocles did, by seeking an answer toman's relation to the invisible forces that control his destiny. In his notes to Mourning Becomes Electra O'Neill states the problem, recognizing that a modem version of the Electra story needs a Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

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LOG IN. Modern Drama. Desire Under The Elms,: In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE.Cohan's Theater and finally at Daly's 63rd Street Theatre , for a total of performances. A grim, repressed room like a tomb in which the family has been interred alive.

The Iceman Cometh opens on Broadway. In he will write Exorcism , a one-act play based on the suicide attempt. She has lighted all the candles and the room is revealed in all its preserved ugliness.

Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953)

He also writes, "The basic situation, where the young son has seen his beloved mother worked to death by a hard father and then has had to bear the usurpation of her position by an aggressive stepmother, has its origin in The Son of a Servant. LOG IN. He laughs and again starts to walk away. He draws away, laughingly Thar. A pause.

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