Psychological analysis of ‘ Mourning Becomes Electra’.

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Information about Psychological analysis of ‘ Mourning Becomes Electra’.

Published on October 2, 2014

Author: 123kinjal



My presentation on Psychological analysis of ‘ Mourning Becomes Electra’ by Eugene O’Neill.

1. • Topic : Psychological analysis of ‘ Mourning Becomes Electra’. • Name : Kinjal Patel • Paper Name: The American Literature • Paper No: 10 • Sem : 3 • Roll No: 14 • Submitted to: Department of English Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University.

2. Morning Becomes Electra

3. About author • Eugene O’Neill was born on 16th October 1888 and died on 27th November 1953. • He won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1936 and Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1920, 1922, 1928 and 1957.

4. • “ He is the height and breadth of the American theatre…” ---- John Gassner • In O’Neill’s play the struggle is with man himself, man’s own past and future.

5. • In the barren land of American drama, Eugene O’ Neill grew a beautiful pastureland. • He was a pioneer American dramatists.

6. O’Neill’s inspiration • O’ Neill reflects the psychological conflicts in the mind of characters and got inspiration from Freud. • Unlike the Greek and Elizabethan tragedies in which the protagonists are confronted with the conflicting forces. • O’ Neill like T.S.Eliot, went to the Greek for inspiration.

7. Characters • Psychology as a method of psychological investigation has a bearing on O’ Neill’s plays. • His characters are emotional but sterile.

8. Freudian start • The play opens with ordinary people gossiping about the extra marital affairs of Christine, wife of Ezra Mannon. • This is a Freudian start.

9. Psychoanalytical tradition Gardener Seth’s Psychoanalytical tradition Past Present Future

10. Head of the family Be – all End –all

11. Lancan’s complex • Major – Brigadier- General- judge and he also served in the army. This dwarfing of personality gives birth to castration complex of Lancan. • The son feels obliged to love only one woman that is his mother.

12. Freudian context • Ezra’s death is both clinical and psychological in the Freudian context. • Slip of tongue is both Freudian and Lancanian. • Lavinia is offending herself on Peter Niles, she addresses him as ‘Adam’- the real love of her life.

13. Hamlet and The Mourning Becomes Electra • O’ Neill’s case is profoundly psychological just as Hamlet is a drama of psychologically motivated characters. • O’ Neill has made remarkable attempt to dramatize sub – conscious emotions.

14. Cunning Christine • Christine is sly and malicious and she plans the murder in a cunning manner knowing that her husband has heart problem. • She lets it be knowing in the public about the gravity of his ailment.

15. Serious of Killings • She makes him suffer and poisons him. • But he dies only to give birth to a series of violent revenge killings.

16. • When the brother Orin returns from the war the sister, Lavinia maneuvers him in a situations where he kills Brant before his killing another psychological aberration in the form of mother son’s incestuous relationship is found.

17. Incest • There is incest in brother sister relationship too. • It is Lavinia who is the prime factor of personality shortcomings. • She would neither like her brother to have normal relationship with Hazel nor allow herself to have ties with captain Peter Niles.

18. Tragic end • Orin to madness and suicide just as they had driven her mother to frustration and suicide, • Lavinia draws the curtains on her own self and opts for the life of recluse.

19. Oedipus and Electra complex • We rarely find Oedipus and Electra complex together but in this play we do.

20. Conclusion • Thus, O’ Neill is a master craftsman but in this play it seems as if he was writing within the psychological and psychoanalytical framework.

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