Anna Christie Essay

979 words - 4 pages

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, ...view middle of the document...

However, after attending for a year he was expelled and began what he regarded as his “real education in ‘life experience’”. O’Neill toyed with death for the next six years of his life. He shipped out to sea on a gold prospecting expedition in “the wilds of Spanish Honduras”, traveled the waterfronts of Buenos Aires, Liverpool, and New York City, turned to alcoholism as well as attempted suicide. In 1913, O’Neill was admitted to a tuberculosis sanatorium. There he decided to devote all his time to write plays. In 1916, O’Neill joined the Provincetown Players. The Provincetown Players performed many of his early works, including Bound East for Cardiff, in both the Provincetown and MacDougal Street theatres. Some of these early plays soon were moved to be produced in Broadway, such as Beyond the Horizon. As previously mentioned, he earned four Pulitzer Prizes for his works, three of which were earned before he turned age thirty. He received the awards for Beyond the Horizon, Strange Interlude, Long Days Journey into Night and Anna Christie.
Eugene O’Neill’s plays were written from very personal life perspectives which derived from his tragic family life. O’Neill found himself “caught and torn between love for and rage at all three” members of his family. Other elements O’Neill would infuse in his manuscripts were his love for the sea as well as his Catholic Irish heritage. He would rewrite his plays numerous times before becoming satisfied with them. It is said he filled shelves with his research notes, outlines, ideas and other such memoranda used to compose his literary work. Anna Christie underwent several revisions before making its appearance on Broadway on November 2, 1921. The play was first titled as Chris, then The Ole Davil and was centered on the character Chris. However, O’Neill altered the play changing Anna from being a woman of virtue who needed protection into a prostitute who longed for...

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