Female Social Conventions in the Plays of Eugene O'Neil
Wells, Pamela L.
The Graduate School, Stony Brook University: Stony Brook, NY.
This paper explores the plays of Eugene O'Neill through the eyes social conventions. Social conventions are infused within and influence individuals in all walks of life. Authors, as well, record these social conventions in their writing, either consciously or subconsciously. Studying these social conventions can give us a new perspective of man during different periods of history. In the plays Anna Christie, Desire Under the Elms and Mourning Becomes Electra, Eugene O'Neill's female characters display attributes that stray from what society believes as acceptable behavior for woman. These unwritten rules of behavior I call social conventions. This paper examines the female social conventions of 1850-1930 in both fiction and non-fiction works and then discusses them in the above plays by O'Neill.