Beyond the Horizon

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Play by Eugene O'Neill, produced and published in 1920, when it won a Pulitzer Prize.

Robert Mayo, of poetic nature, dislikes work on his father's farm, and plans to seek adventure as a seaman. His brother Andrew, better adapted to farm life, has been his rival for the love of Ruth Atkins, but when she reveals that she loves Robert, Andrew goes to sea instead. In the next three years Ruth's passion fades, and Robert fails as a farmer. Persecuted by the complaints of his wife and his mother, he is consoled only by his daughter and his books, while Ruth hopes that Andrew still loves her and will return. Andrew, home for a day, shows that travel has made him hard and commonplace, and he reveals to Ruth that his love for her soon passed. Disillusioned and poverty-stricken, the family passes another five years on the farm. Robert's daughter dies, his wife is apathetic, and Andrew returns only when Robert is dying of consumption. Escaping from his bed, he watches the sunrise from a hill: “It isn't the end. It's a free beginning … beyond the horizon!”

Subjects: Literature — Theatre.

Reference entries

Eugene O'Neill (1888—1953) American dramatist