Mourning Becomes Electra

by: Eugene O'Neill

"The Haunted": Act II

Though Orin would apparently turn to Hazel to escape the Mannon fate, the dead, as Lavinia will later remark, intervene between them. In extolling Hazel's magnetic purity, Orin casts her as yet another figure for the Mother. Like Christine, Hazel appears as another "lost island," a symbol of the prelapsarian love that the damned can never hope to attain. Orin yearns to deliver himself up to this mother-double and confess his crime. Chillingly his fantasy of this confession rehearses the memory of his father's murder. The poison Christine gives to Ezra becomes the "poisonous vomit" that Orin would cough up in guilt. Orin's submission to judgment is a submission to death as well. As we will see, atonement for Orin means death at Mother's hands.