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This Is A Complete Biography Of The Playwrite Eugene O'neill.

2344 words - 9 pages

Eugene O'NeillThrough poverty and fame, "An artist or nothing" (Miller p6), was the motto of a man named Eugene O'Neill, who wrote from his soul in an attempt to find salvation. In the year 1888, the Barrett House hotel in New York's Times Square saw the birth of a man who would be called the greatest American playwright. His father James was an actor and was famous across the United Sates for his role in the popular play "Monte Cristo". Eugene's mother, Ellen, was a beautiful woman who was gifted with a great artistic talent. Throughout his life, O'Neill would travel all over the world, marry three women, have three children, and write some of the best American Drama that would ever be written. "Much of his life would be devoted to writing plays of tragic power"(David p11), and "His works reveal the unsatisfied searching of a soul for truth"(David p11).When Eugene was born he was a great inconvenience to his parents, who already had one child, and spent most of their time traveling around the country playing in different cities. As a result of this he was raised in the care of a Cornish nanny, keeping him isolated from the rest of his family. He would continue to spend most of his youth away from his family, as he would be educated almost entirely in boarding schools. When he was still a young boy, his parents enrolled him in St. Aloysius Academy for boys in Riverdale New York. He was a good student and did not really stand out as a youth. He passed through De La Salle Institute and actually stayed at home for the first year of school there. He attended Betts Academy, which is no longer in existence today, but at the time it was one of the finer preparatory schools in the nation. While he was boarding there, his family moved their home from New York City to New London Connecticut where O'Neil would spend most of his life. His problems arose in 1906 when he entered into Princeton University. He held strongly to the philosophy of "all play and no work"(Miller p4), and he was eventually suspended when the yardmaster caught him breaking power cables and windows in the University train station. His suspension was only to last for two weeks; however, he never returned to campus. He was officially expelled from the school for poor academic standing. Eugene moved into a New York apartment with his friend Frank Best after leaving Princeton. He held a trivial job as secretary to the president of a small shipping company. He spent his earnings and his father's allowance on wild living. He met James Findlater who was to become his best friend and basis for the character Jimmy Tomorrow from "Iceman Cometh" and was the same character in "Tomorrow" which was one of O'Neil's only short stories. James would eventually introduce Eugene to Kathleen Jenkins, the daughter of a wealthy New York businessman. Both parents objected to any marriage between the two. They would eventually elope though, in the fall of 1909, when Eugene discovered his father was sending him...

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