2American DramaAlthough the theatre was popular in America from colonial times, and although many Americans wrote plays which were produced, American drama of a quality to command respect abroad is the product of the 20th century. It began in rebellion.
3Stimulated by the naturalistic, symbolic, and critical drama of Europe, experimental theatres sprang up in America in the 1910s. In the meantime, modern American dramatists began to attract attention. Among them, Eugene O’ Neill was standing out.These authors wrote for the new theatre. They not only tried to avoid the clichés of plot, characterization, dialog, acting, and staging which had stultified the older drama, but they experimentation peculiar to the period was expressionism---the mingling of the realistic and the fantastic or symbolic. Experiments of this kind abound in the work of Eugene O’ Neill, the greatest American dramatist of the interwar period.
5work Beyond the Horizon 天外天 The Iceman Cometh 卖冰的人来了 Long Day’s Journey into Night 进入黑夜的漫长旅程Emperor Jones 琼斯皇帝The Hairy Ape 毛猿
6Characteristics chaos and hopelessness realism, naturalism and expressionismsets, lighting, and sounds
7Commentswon the Nobel Prize for literature in 1936, and Pulitzer Prizes for four of his playsO’Neil was no doubt the greatest American dramatist of the first half of the 20th century. He was the first playwright to explore serious themes in the theater and to carry out his continual, vigorous, courageous experiments with theatrical conventions. His plays have been translated and staged all over the world.
8The early period (1913-1919) Period of apprenticeship Bound East for Cardiff （1916）《东航卡迪夫》his first play, marking the beginning of O’s long and successful dramatic career and ushered in the modern era of the American theatre
10The middle period ( )Summit of his career, more experimental in technique, with wider scope of subject matterBeyond Horizon (1920) 《天边外》his first play of success, established his reputation, Pulitzer PrizeThe Emperor Jones (1920) 《琼斯王》The Hairy Ape (1922) 《毛猿》
11FeaturesThese plays are daring forays (袭击) into race relations, class conflicts, sexual bondage, social critiques, and American tragedies on the Greek model.These plays are known for their unusual stage devices and powerful use of symbolism, and The Hairy Ape (1922) is one of O’Neill’s experiments in expressionism.
12Desire Under the Elms (1924) 《榆树下的欲望》 Strange Interlude (1928) 《奇异的插曲》Mourning Becomes Electra (1931) 《悲悼》
13FeaturesThese three plays exemplify O’Neill’s ability to explore the limits of the human predicament, even as he sounds the depths of his audiences’ hearts.
14The late period ( )Period of maturity, return to realism (realism+modernism)The Iceman Cometh (1946) 《送冰的人来了》Long Day’s Journey Into Night (1956) 《进入黑夜的漫长旅程》, autobiographical
15Features During his final period O’Neill returned to realism. (1) The Iceman Cometh (1946): proves to be a masterpiece that is a complex, ironic, deeply moving exploration of human existence and predicament. It is a tragedy, realistically set in a Bowery bar, symbolically portraying the loss of illusion and the coming of Death.
16(2) Long Day’s Journey into Night (1956), for which he own his final Pulitzer posthumously(死后出版的) in It has gained its status as a world classic and simultaneously marks the climax of O’Neill’s literary career and the coming of age of American drama.
17Long Day’s Journey into Night is an autobiographical tragedy depicting a day in 1912 in the unhappy life of the Tyrone family, (which was the first of his posthumously produced and published plays.) With the influence of Sigmund Freud’s theories about the power of irrational drives, the existence of a subconscious, the role of repression and suppression, the importance of sex and the lifelong influence of parents, O’Neill tried to examine the human plight—the external conflict between people’s aspirations and the mysterious forces in life which limit and shatter their lofty dreams in the end. He wrote plays on various subjects and in various styles, trying to depict the universal predicament of modern men.
18Features of O’s playsTrying to discover the root of human desires and frustrations.Seeking meaning and purpose in life, but ending with disappointment.Pessimistic, leaving the characters without illusions or hope.
19Style and techniquesExperimenting with new styles and forms, borrowing from both traditional and modern theories and techniquesRealismNaturalismSymbolismExpressionismMasks, choir, interior monologue, asides
21Long Days Journey into Night (1956) Setting: the summer home of the Tyrone family, August 1912James Tyrone, the father, a famous actor, anxious to become rich at the expense of his own talent;Mary Tyrone, the mother, a drug addict;James Tyrone, their elder son,Edmund Tyrone, their younger son.
22The mother becomes mentally ill because she is extremely unhappy with her married life. Young Jamie loses faith in life.Edmund the wanderer comes back with tuberculosis.All the four suffer frustrations and wish to escape from the harsh reality, James and Jamie looking for solace in their cups, while Mary and Edmund seek the protection of the fog which they hope would screen them from the intrusion of the world outside.
23They meet in the living room of the family’s summer home at 8:30 A. M They meet in the living room of the family’s summer home at 8:30 A.M. of a day in August, 1912 and torment one another and themselves until midnight. The father is angry with the mother for her drug addiction, the mother with the father for his failure to offer her a home, the father with his sons for being good parents.All are torn in a war between love and hate, and no one is sure which is the stronger emotion. The long day thus journeys into night when the tragedy of the family is finally enacted. Love gives way to hate, day to night, and hope to despair.
24AnalysisLong Day's Journey into Night is undoubtedly a tragedy---it leaves the audience with a sense of catharsis, or emotional rebirth through the viewing of powerful events, and it depicts the fall of something that was once great.b. The play is largely autobiographical; it resembles O’ Neill’ s life in many aspects. O'Neill himself appears in the play in the character of Edmund, the younger son who, like O'Neill, suffers from consumption.
25c. The play also creates a world in which communication has broken down. One of the great conflicts in the play is the characters' inability to communicate despite their constant fighting.d. The play is all the more tragic because it leaves little hope for the future; indeed, the future for the Tyrones can only be seen as one long cycle of a repeated past bound in by alcohol and morphine.
26American Drama Renaissance of drama: 1930s left-winged drama, proletarian drama, southern drama, black dramaEugene O’NeillClifford Odets (克利福德·奥德茨): Waiting for Lefty 《等待老左》Elmer Rice (艾尔默·莱斯): The Adding Machine《加算机》Lilian Hellman (丽莲·赫尔曼): The Little Fox
27American drama after WWII Tennessee Williams ( ) 田纳西·威廉斯: southern dramatistThe Glass Menagerie 《玻璃动物园》A Streetcar Named Desire《欲望号街车》Arthur Miller (1915- )阿瑟·米勒Death of a Salesman《推销员之死》All my Sons《全是我的儿子》Edward Albee (1928- )爱德华·阿尔比, Theatre of the AbsurdWho is Afraid of Virginia Woolf?《谁害怕弗吉尼亚·伍尔夫》The Sandbox 《沙箱》
29Life and Career A great playwright, a tragic life Son of a traveling actorOne year at PrincetonLife as a seaman1912, TB, start of career as a playwright1920, first full-length play put on Broadway1936, Nobel Prize, 4 Pulitzer Prizes (1920，1922，1928，1957)Unhappy marriages, suicide of oldest son, drug addiction & mental illness of younger son, daughter’s marriage, Parkinson’s disease
30General Evaluation Eugene O’Neill was America’s greatest playwright. The first American dramatist to ever receive the Nobel Prize for literature (1936).Winning Pulitzer Prizes for four of his plays: Beyond the Horizon (1920); Anne Christie (1922); Strange Interlude (1928); and Long Day’s Journey into Night (1957).“Founder of the American drama,” and “the American Shakespeare” in the history of American drama.
31Three Periods as A Playwright Early realist plays : utilize his own experiences, especially as a seamanexpressionistic plays : influenced by the ideas of philosopher Freidrich Nietzsche, psychologists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, and Swedish playwright August Strindberg. (rejected realism in this period)Final period :(returned to realism ) depend on his life experiences for their story lines and themes.
32Major Works45 complete works, 20 considered major works
33About Long Day’s Journey into Night A Survey of American Literature—Eugene O’NeillAbout Long Day’s Journey into NightIntroduction to the PlayLong Day’s Journey into Night, completed in 1940, is an autobiographical play that O’Neill’s wife allowed to be published in 1956, after O’Neill’s death. The four-act play takes place during a single day in August 1912 at the summer home of the Tyrone. The Tyrones of the play are in fact modeled on the O’Neill family. It is not a happy tale. The play is set in the living room of a summerhouse in August, the play starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends about midnight. The members of the family are James Tyrone, the father, an actor; Mary Tyrone, the drug-addicted mother; Jamie, their elder son; and Edmund, their younger son. All the members suffer frustrations and wish to escape from the harsh reality. One day, when they meet in the living room, they show bitterness, resentment and even hatred for one another. No one finds warmth, comfort and peace at home where love gives way to hate and hope to despair. The play explores the tragic nature of family relations, and questions the possibility of forgiveness and redemption.
34About Long Day’s Journey into Night A Survey of American Literature—Eugene O’NeillAbout Long Day’s Journey into NightDetailed Introduction of the charactersJames Tyrone: father, a popular actor playing Mount Cristo, is the supporter of the family and earns money. Anxious to become rich at the expense of his own talent. But his dream of becoming a first-rate Shakespearean actor has died.Mary Tyrone: wife and mother, a drug addict, is a sensitive and nervous woman of fifty-four. She suffers rheumatism (风湿病) since giving birth to her third child. The mother becomes mentally ill because she is extremely unhappy with her married life. Because of her lonely married life and the painful disease, she resigns herself to her morphine (吗啡) addiction, which lulls her into a life-long dream of being a nun or a pianist.
35About Long Day’s Journey into Night A Survey of American Literature—Eugene O’NeillAbout Long Day’s Journey into NightDetailed Introduction of the charactersJamie: the elder son, aged thirty-three, is an alcoholic sentimental poet. He loses faith in life. He shows a habitual-expression of cynicism (and has a Mephistophelean cast, but he is attractive to women and popular with men. )Edmund: the younger son, is like his mother not only in appearance but also in temperament. Aged only twenty-three, he is a poet by nature and is apparently in poor health, with feverish eyes and a sunken face. Edmund is stricken with tuberculosis.All the four suffer frustration and wish to escape from the harsh reality.
36About Long Day’s Journey into Night A Survey of American Literature—Eugene O’NeillAbout Long Day’s Journey into NightThey meet in the living room of the family’s summer home at 8:30 A. M. of a day in August, 1912 and torment one another and themselves until midnight.(1) The father is angry with mother for her drug addiction;(2) The mother is angry with his sons for being good for nothing;(3) The sons are angry with their parents for not being good parents;(4) The mother curses the father for his failure to offer her a happy home.Father and sons torture and curse each other, drinking to escape the cruel reality. All are torn in a mental war between love and hate.
37About Long Day’s Journey into Night A Survey of American Literature—Eugene O’NeillAbout Long Day’s Journey into NightThemeThe long day thus journeys into night when the tragedy of the family is finally enacted. No relief is felt, no light is seen, and all ends in the engulfing darkness. In a figurative sense, Long Day’s Journey into Night is a metaphor for O’Neill’s lifelong endeavor to find truth and the way to acceptance. The former he found, namely, the faithless, fragmentary nature of modern life, whereas the latter he did not: for him all passed into night. In despair O’Neill thought of the old God of the Catholic church on which, it is ironical to note, he had turned his back long before.
38About Long Day’s Journey into Night A Survey of American Literature—Eugene O’NeillAbout Long Day’s Journey into NightThe Précis of the SelectionMary Tyrone is recently discharged from a state sanitarium (疗养院) as cured of her drug addiction. In August 1912, once again she is back at her summer home with her husband James and their sons, Jamie, at 33, a hard-drinking, cynical Broadway hanger-on, and Edmund, a sickly, morbid intellectual. Mary’s appearance and detached conversation soon make it clear that she is not cured. As the men drink heavily to escape reality, she nostalgically revives past dreams of becoming a nun or a concert pianist, and seems an innocent girl again. But she also reveals that her addiction began when her miserly husband chose a quack doctor who treated her with morphine after her sickness in giving birth to Edmund.
39About Long Day’s Journey into Night A Survey of American Literature—Eugene O’NeillAbout Long Day’s Journey into NightThe Précis of the SelectionLike his mother, Edmund wants to “be alone…in another world…where life can hide from itself.” Like her too, he shows both love and hate to his family as he confronts his limited future as a consumptive(肺病患者), realizing that his father will send him to the cheapest state sanitarium, since he is expected to die. Jamie drunkenly tells Edmund how much he loves him and yet how much he hates him as responsible for their mother’s addiction. All are baffled and hurt in a war between love and hate.
40About Long Day’s Journey into Night A Survey of American Literature—Eugene O’NeillAbout Long Day’s Journey into NightTechniqueTime Order: In Long Day’s Journey into Night, time is restructured to conform to the back-and-forth process of recollection. This altered sense of time is far more cyclical than is it linear. Additionally, Mary, the protagonist in Long Day’s Journey into Night can at least escape into herself—into a drugged and numbed interior state of withdrawal.Characters: In this play the characters are capable of grappling with reality, and it is the hopelessness of their own psychology—the alienation of self-control—and not the alienation of self from society, which is the force propelling the dramatic action forward.
41About Long Day’s Journey into Night A Survey of American Literature—Eugene O’NeillAbout Long Day’s Journey into NightTechniqueThe Stage Setting: The stage setting in the play conveys a world which is painstakingly realistic.Tone: In Long Day’s Journey into Night there is a somber pessimistic tone that results in the disintegration (瓦解) of the main character.Dialogue: The dialogue in Long Day’s Journey into Night is eloquent and flowing.
42A Survey of American Literature—Eugene O’Neill Comment on O’NeillO’Neill was no doubt the greatest American dramatist of the first half of the 20th century and a tireless experimentalist in dramatic art.O’Neill was a tireless experimentalist in dramatic art. He took drama away from the old traditions of the last century and rooted it deeply in life. He successfully introduced the European theatrical trends of realism, naturalism, and expressionism to the American stage as devices to express his comprehensive interest in modern life and humanity. He introduced the realistic or even the naturalistic aspect of life into the American theater.
43A Survey of American Literature—Eugene O’Neill Comment on O’NeillHe was the first playwright to explore serious themes in the theatre and to carry out his continual, vigorous, courageous experiments with theatrical conventions. His plays have been translated and staged all over the world.He won Pulitzer Prize four times (1920, 1922, 1928, 1956) and the Nobel Prize in 1936 for his achievements in plays.As the nation’s first playwright with 47 published plays, he did a great deal to establish the modes of the modern theatre in the country.O’Neill’s ceaseless experimentation enriched American drama and influenced later playwrights as Tennessee Williams and Edward Albee.