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There was no hereafter. There was only this world—the warm earth in the moonlight—the trade wind in the coco palms—the surf on the reef—the fires at night and the drum throbbing in my heart—the natives dancing naked and innocent—without knowledge of sin!
Lavinia relates this memory of the Blessed Island to Peter in Act I of "The Haunted." She has just returned with Orin from their trip to the South Sea. Here the Island figures again as a paradise apart from the Oedipal tragedy that drives the Mannons to their doom, but here it is in terms of race relations. As with Brant, the islands have come to figure as home of the innocent natives who dance naked on the beach and love without sin. The natives appear as timeless children, living in the simplicities of the present. Lavinia's reverie is one pole of the trilogy's fantasies of the native. The other, sustained by Orin and others, imagines them as figures of bestial sexual prowess.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Mourning Becomes Electra!