The 1910s was an era of labor unions, World War I, the assembly line and much more. In 1912, the historic sinking of the Titanic took place. O’Neill was greatly influenced by this and thus wrote three plays dealing with shipwrecks; the most recognized of those three being, Thirst. Thirst was a self-published play that he wrote while resided in New London, CT in the fall of 1913. It is about three shipwreck survivors and their will to prove that one of the survivors is hiding water. In writing Thirst, O’Neill also drew from the inspiration of two great playwrights, August Strindberg and Maurice Maeterlinck. Strindberg was a Swedish playwright “combined psychology and Naturalism in a new kind of European drama that evolved into Expressionist drama”( Mortensen). Maeterlinck was a Flemish playwright who was known for his pieces of the Symbolist theatre. In the spring of 1917, O’Neill wrote Ile. In this play, O’Neill took more inspiration from the town he was currently residing in, Provincetown, MA, than from world events. After he...
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