Mourning Becomes Electra

by: Eugene O'Neill

"Homecoming": Act I, Scene One, Part Two

Summary "Homecoming": Act I, Scene One, Part Two

Marie's sexual excess emerges because she is seen as being exotic, and exoticism that almost makes her of a different race. Seth, for example, imagines her in primitive terms: wild, animal-like, and laughing. Note also how characters will continually identify her as the "Canuck" nurse. We should keep Marie's exoticism in mind when considering the ways in which the "exotic," "primitive," and "native" figure as ciphers for sexual excess within the play's racial imaginary.

Already does Brant gesture toward the development of these motifs of the native in his reference to the Blessed Isles. Throughout the play, the Blessed Isles will figure as some utopian space, as home to those who can love without law, judgment, or guilt. As our discussion suggests, law here refers to the law of kinship—the law instituted by the father's name that would prohibit incest and determine the appropriate relations of desire in the household. By fleeing to the natives, the players would elude the disruption of the Mother-Son love affair.