Family Reunion

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Verse play by T. S. Eliot, produced and published in 1939.

Harry, Lord Monchensey, returns to his English country home, after eight years abroad following the death at sea of his young wife. The occasion is the birthday of his mother, Amy, imperious matriarch of the family, which also includes her sisters, Ivy, Violet, and Agatha. Harry shows his neurotic, guilt-ridden condition by a blurted confession that he murdered his wife. He has returned in search of inner peace, but the avenging spirits (Eumenides) now become visible. From Agatha Harry learns that his father had loved her, not Amy, who had used him merely to have the children and home she desired. The father's frustrated desire to murder his wife seems to have been inherited by the son. Harry departs to complete his “pilgrimage of expiation”, and the shock kills Amy.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

T. S. Eliot (1888—1965) poet, critic, and publisher