Beyond the Horizon

Definition

Theater

  • A naturalistic tragedy by Eugene O'Neill. It was premieredin 1920 in New York's Morosco Theatre, and established O'Neill's reputation,winning the Pulitzer Prize. Set in rural New England, the story concernstwo sons of the farmer James Mayo. Andrew, the older, plans to marrytheir childhood neighbour, Ruth Atkins, and take over the family farm.Robert, a dreamer, wishes to go to sea but first confesses his loveto Ruth, who surprises both families by returning it. The brothersthen find their fortunes reversed: Robert wins Ruth and stays on thefarm while Andy goes to sea, a departure that kills his father. However,Robert knows nothing of business and the farm goes to ruin along withhis marriage. When Andy returns, Ruth plans to reveal her love forhim, but before she does so he insensitively tells her that he neverreally loved her. Andy leaves the couple, who fall into despair asfirst Robert's mother and then their daughter Mary dies. When Andynext returns, Robert too is dying. Andy is now left with Ruth, butit is too late for happiness.
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