Mourning Becomes Electra

by: Eugene O'Neill

Christine Mannon

Characters Christine Mannon

Christine is a striking woman of forty with a fine, voluptuous figure, flowing animal grace, and a mass of beautiful copper hair. Her pale face is also a life- like mask, a mask that represents both her duplicity and her almost super-human efforts at repression.

Having long abhorred her husband Ezra, Christine plots his murder with her lover Brant upon his return from the Civil War. She loves incestuously, repudiating her husband and clinging to her son as that which is all her own. She repeats this incestuous relation in her affair with Brant, rediscovering Orin in a substitute.

Like her double, Brant's mother Marie, Christine moves with an animal-like grace, grace that codes for her sexual excess. This grace makes her exotic, or even of another race, aligning her with the recurring figures of the island native. It makes sense that Lavinia must go among the natives to fully assume her figure.

As her characteristic green dress suggests, Christine is consumed with envy. She envies Brant's Island women, hating them for their sexual pleasures. Despite the desperate veneer of kindness, she envies Hazel for her youth, imagining her as a figure for what she once was. Before the threat of her oncoming age, she must secure her love affair with Brant at all costs.