Anna Christie

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Eugene O’Neill was a top participant in moving American theatre to become artistic as well as embody the emergence of realism. He believed a story could not be written until it was lived. He based his plays upon his tragic life experiences; thus, creating tangible characters whom drove the plotline. O’Neill is considered the third most read playwright right under William Shakespeare and Bernard Shaw. He published thirty-two full length plays and twenty one-act plays during his lifetime. Furthermore, O’Neill earned multiple awards such as the Pulitzer Prize. Moreover, the success of his work helped reestablish abroad countries’ respect for American theatre.
O’Neill was born on October 16, 1888 in the Barrett Hotel in Longacre Square, now known as Times Square. His life revolved around the theatre. His father, James O’Neill, was a prominent, successful touring actor whom had gained fame from his most popular performance vehicle the Count of Monte Cristo. Eugene spent the first several years of his childhood living with his family in hotels, railroad trains and backstage as his father pursued acting. He later described this insecure, rough living arrangement as the cause of his early anxiety and the downfall of his family, particularly his mother whom developed a drug addiction. O’Neill’s mother, Mary Ellen Quinlan, conscientiously followed her husband on his tours across the country. However, Eugene revealed how “she never was an actress, disliked the theatre, and held aloof from its people”. The only occasions his family would settle down was when they spent their summers in their permanent home located near the Thames River in New London, CT.
Due to James O’Neill’s touring career in theatre, Eugene was sent away to attend Cath...

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...ons between the characters led the conflict of the play.
Critics of the play Anna Christie question the claim that Eugene O’Neill wrote only one comedic play which was Ah, Wilderness!. They describe the play as melodramatic, “a bittersweet comedy” or as an “inchoate tragedy” which has taken on a “finely balanced approach” to comedy and tragedy. O’Neill sought to leave the audience with a deep feeling of the past giving birth to the future. He took a solemn approach at creating a Swedish American girl forced into a deplorable childhood find love with a likable but unimaginative young sailor near the sea. Regardless of its popularity, O’Neill disliked this particular play the moment he finished it because it was “too easy” to write because of its uncomplicated conflict. Fortunately, the playwright did not scrap the manuscript thereupon preserving an American classic.

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