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Mourning Becomes Electra

by: Eugene O'Neill

Orin Mannon

The Mannon son returned from war, Orin is the boyish counterpart to Aeschylus's Orestes. He loves his mother incestuously, yearning for pre-Oedipal plentitude, the mythic moment prior to the intervention of the father into the mother-son dyad. This pre-Oedipal paradise appears primarily in two fantasies: that of the secret world he shares with Christine in childhood and the Blessed Island he imagines as a haven from the war.

As the stage notes indicate, Orin bears a striking resemblance to the other Mannon men though he appears as a weakened, refined, and oversensitive version of each. These doubles are his rivals within the Mother-Son love affair that structures the trilogy, with Orin competing with Ezra and Brant for Christine's desire. Thus he flies into a jealous rage upon the discovery of her love affair that leads to Christine and Brant's deaths. Orin will then force he and his sister to judgment for their crimes in an attempt to rejoin his mother in death.