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Mourning Becomes Electra

Eugene O'Neill

"The Haunted": Act II

"The Haunted": Act I, Scene Two

"The Haunted": Act II, page 2

page 1 of 3
Summary

One month later, Peter works intently at a manuscript at his father's desk. He now looks almost as old as Ezra.

Peter sardonically addresses his father's portrait, jeering that the whole truth and nothing but the truth will come out. Lavinia knocks sharply at the locked door; Peter locks his manuscript in the desk and lets her in. With forced casualness, she asks Orin what he is doing. Mockingly he replies that he is reading Father's law books.

Lavinia urges him to get some fresh air. For Orin, however, the two of them have forever renounced the "accusing eye" of daylight. He finds the lamplight more appropriate, as it is a symbol of man's life burning out in a world of shadows. Forcing a smile, Lavinia relents and she only worries about his health. Orin snaps that though she hopes for his demise, he feels quite well.

Lavinia replies that the walk with Hazel did him good then. Orin assents dully and then complains that, now that they are engaged, Lavinia never leaves them alone. She fears he may let something slip. Though he feels drawn to Hazel's purity, Lavinia cannot pass him off onto her. Hazel is another "lost island." When he sees her love for him, he feels an urge to confess his guilt as if it were "poisonous vomit." Lavinia and he cannot escape retribution. They must confess and atone for mother's death.

Lavinia cannot believe that Orin still loves a woman who would have left him. Orin retorts that Lavinia would do the same with Peter. He will stop her, however, with his manuscript. As the last male Mannon, he has written a history of the family crimes, from Abe's onward. He has tried to trace the evil destiny behind their lives.

Lavinia is the most interesting criminal of all. Orin recalls how she shed her mourning clothes in San Francisco and donned Mother's colors upon meeting the ship's first mate, a man who undoubtedly reminded her of Brant. She finally became pretty, like Mother, on Brant's Islands, with the natives staring at her with desire. Lavinia watched Avahanni stare at her body, "stripping her naked." Lavinia insists with quiet dignity that she only kissed him in gratitude for making love so "sweet and natural" for her.

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Incorrect Reference undr Themes and Motifs

by robertehiggins, April 14, 2015

In Mourning Becomes Electra you write: "Oedipus was the Theban king who unwittingly killed his father and MURDERED his mother." [Emphasis mine].

It should read: "Oedipus...MARRIED his mother!"

(Oedipus' mother Jocasta did commit suicide after learning her lover was her son. Oedipus however did NOT "murder" her.)

Haunted act 2

by you-know-who007, May 12, 2015

In the first paragraph, it's ORIN not Peter who is writing a manuscript.

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