Thirst Significance Of The Title Essay

1077 words - 5 pages

Eugene O’Neill, one of the eminent American dramatists has composed several plays which distinctively explicate his dexterity as well as his fondness for endless experimentation. And certainly his experimentation with several modernist and postmodernist techniques has been revealed even in the titles of his plays. Any title of O’Neill’s play has evolved out his rigorous attempts to clarify the multifoliate significance of chainless signifiers. His play Thirst centers on the tragedy of three people, beaten by circumstance and bowed by Nemesis. But this tragedy has achieved the height of universality as the tragic note brims with the sense of ...view middle of the document...

After the ship wreck, the three persons have taken shelter on a raft. Devoid of food and water, they have turned into the specters. Their ghastly appearance, perverted look and incoherent babbling result from extreme hunger and thirst. And ironically enough they have “not a little drop to drink”, though “water, water everywhere”. So, primarily the play revolves around the unquenchable thirst of the three persons. So, the Gentleman cries in agony “WE HAVE NOT EVEN HAD A DRINK OF WATER IN SO LONG” or the Dancer dreams of “COLD GREEN WATER”. The Negro Sailor is also eager to have few drops of water.
But the thirst for water has been vivified and intensified when the playwright dramatizes the journey of the characters, undergoing hellish/ infernal experience. Amidst the dead silence of the sea, the Dancer attempts to bridge the communication. So does she say “TALK TO ME” as she “CAN NOT BEAR THE SILENCE”. For her even the queer monotonous Negro song is better than dead silence. The Gentleman also craves for companionship. That’s why he begins to ruminate the past what he once was. The menu card consisting the names of delicious dishes not only torments him, but also the dramatist very deftly has shown us how the shackles of civilization have been stripped of in the boiling cauldron of crude and naked reality. Only the sullen Negro remains almost silent throughout the play. But here the politics 0f racial prejudice emerges out as the Negro has either been maltreated or abused by the whites for his color. Being prejudiced by the racial discrimination, they even dare to suspect the Sailor. The communication between the races suddenly stumbles when the Dancer in a fit of strange frenzy, begins to behave like a lunatic. Beaten by circumstance and bowed by past memories, the Dancer gradually has lost self control. Her behavior has been changed drastically as the salt, the heat waves and the sun have played havoc on her. Amidst the livid gloom and utter despondency, her consequent attempts to “speak” and “talk” conspicuously project the desire of human being for communication.
But more than that, this drama has become the manifesto of man’s eternal love for life. The play has reached at the peak of archetypal significance when the...

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