The Hermit – O’Neal

  O’Neill is “the first great playwright in the history of American drama”, comparable to many tragic writers in ancient Greece and Shakespeare, “because he embodies the charm, sincerity and deep passion of the tragic conceptual play”, 1936 O’Neill was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007. However, unexpectedly, he built a villa called “Avenue” in a remote small ravine, and lived a secluded life since then. The reason for this is probably related to his family’s influence, religious loss and unhappy marriage.
  
  Family Impact The tragedy of
  
  O’Neal family life played a crucial role in his later life path. His father, James O’Neill Sr., was a famous actor, famous for his role in “The Count of Monte Cristo”. But his father, an Irish immigrant, lived a poor life before becoming an actor. Because of fear of poverty, in order to let his wife and children live a better life, he did not give up any opportunity to make money, so that he wasted his talent that could become an artist. When he realized this, it was too late. He married a beautiful middle-class girl as his wife and lived a well-to-do life, but the shadow of his past life lingered, and he became a “tall old man” type miser: his wife was in childbirth, he asked A quack doctor came, causing his wife to become addicted to drugs; his younger son got tuberculosis, and he sent him to a cheap nursing home.
  O’Neal’s mother, Mary, lived a pampered life before getting married. She likes beautiful clothes and dreams of becoming a pianist. When she got married, she ordered a beautiful, expensive and elaborate wedding dress, which she so often mentioned that O’Neill wrote it in “The Long Night’s Long Road” more than half a century later, and made a detailed description of it. ‘s narrative. She admires the handsome and handsome James on the stage. Looking at the stage from a distance, she gives people infinite reverie. After getting married, maybe she loved her husband too much and had to go on tour with her. Only at this time did she realize that her life was out of tune with that of an actor. That’s all, she would rather stay in the hotel alone than be with them. On the other hand, the “player” was scorned at the time. Coupled with James’s affair after marriage, all her former friends abandoned her. She had to close herself in a “cage” and immersed in morphine. Unreal, living in “fog”.
  In 1888, when Mary gave birth to O’Neill, she had a difficult labor and was in great physical and mental pain. The doctor had to use morphine for pain relief, and soon became addicted. She has been taking drugs, and after three times of detoxification, she still can’t extricate herself. As described in “Long Night, Long Road”, she could have quit, but she was unwilling to quit. Because under the influence of morphine, she can live in an illusion: she likes to be a beautiful little woman forever, loved and loved by the men of this family, and there is no loneliness.
  O’Neal’s older brother, Jamie, was a smart boy, but became rambunctious when he learned of his mother’s drug use. He started drinking, playing truant, playing with women and living a bohemian life. O’Neal’s birth caused his mother to take drugs. Jamie not only complained about his brother’s birth, but also hated that his father hired a “crappy wild doctor who paid a dollar to see a doctor”. Jamie starts a slutty life. He also deliberately led his brother’s debauched life, and still achieved nothing in his thirties. Jamie also quit drinking and lived with his mother after his father passed away. After his mother left, he used alcohol to relieve his worries every day, just for a quick death, and soon he died with his mother due to alcohol poisoning.
  
  In such a family environment: wandering childhood, the feeling of being “abandoned” by his parents, the temptation of Jamie, etc., O’Neal lived a dissolute life when he was a teenager, and O’Neal could not appreciate the warmth of the family. “I must at least admit that the images and experiences of my childhood often controlled me in such a way that I struggled to resist them. I never got rid of them.” A haven from the wind and rain.
  
  Lost in religion
  
  O’Neill grew up in a Catholic Irish family. From a young age, the family and the church school gave him religious education and nurture, which made him have a strong religious awareness since he was a child.
  When he was 15 years old, he began to doubt God when he saw his beloved mother suffer from pain (sickness and drug addiction). He thought that if God couldn’t save a devout Catholic like his mother, what was the point of religion? He was suspicious, hesitant, and at the same time had a sense of guilt from being disrespectful to God. In the end he left religion, the direct reason being that Almighty God could not save his mother. In his mind God is dead, but he has not found a new God. Due to the lack of spiritual sustenance and anguish and emptiness in his heart, he began to be wild and cynical, and could not find a support point in his spirit. The “guilt” he couldn’t get rid of at that moment made him emotionally unable to cut off the relationship with religion. This is best demonstrated by his words: “Most modern tragedies are concerned with man’s relationship to man, but I’m not interested in that at all. All I care about is man’s relationship with God.”
  After leaving Catholicism, O’Neill turned to He went to the East to find a support point, studied Chinese philosophy seriously, and was especially interested in Taoism, whose influence was multi-faceted by Taoism.
  
  Unhappy marriages
  
  O’Neal was married three times, but never found a safe haven from the storm. Instead, it made him even more cynical and heartbroken.
  His first marriage began with the romance of love at first sight and ended with the helplessness of reality. O’Neal’s first wife was Catherine of the prestigious family. They met in the spring of 1909, O’Neal was attracted by his elegant demeanor and extraordinary conversation, and the two soon fell in love. But O’Neill was unable to make a living and could not support his wife; coupled with the disparity between the two characters, O’Neill found that they could not have a common language, and when he talked about Nietzsche, Ibsen and Schopenhauer, Catherine only showed polite interest; They will never be able to reach harmony. At this point, he was going to step back. But at this time, it was discovered that Catherine was pregnant, and in order to give the unborn child a name, they secretly held a wedding in the church. However, this marriage was not recognized by the families of both parties. O’Neill drifted for ten years for this, becoming an alcoholic, suffering from malaria and tuberculosis. This nominal marriage finally ended in 1912.
  O’Neal’s second wife, a writer, lived happily for some time and had a son and a daughter. Later, O’Neal moved away and fell in love with the beautiful actor Carlotta, which made his wife very sad. O’Neill filed for divorce, but she insisted on not leaving, and this loveless marriage dragged on until June 1929. O’Neal and Carlotta were married two weeks after the second lady’s divorce. Carlotta took good care of O’Neal and helped him a lot in his creation. In 1937, they moved into a villa called “Dao”, only kept in close contact with close friends, lived a secluded life, and pursued a kind of “quietness” as the Taoists call it. Carlotta himself also likes Chinese culture and has a certain influence on her husband. In the book “Chinese Garden” she bought in March 1938, she discussed the influence of Taoism in the aesthetics of Chinese gardens. In her eyebrow critique, she pointed out that “quietness is an ideal”, and also said that “inaction itself is an art” and so on. This may be the result of the discussion between the couple, because this time is the time when the two fall in love. Every evening, the two read each other’s books, and their love is evident. But in the later stages of the marriage, the couple often quarreled, and they quarreled especially fiercely. As his health deteriorated, O’Neal could no longer create. For O’Neill, “theatre is life, the essence and interpretation of life”, and O’Neill who cannot create is nothing. In his later years, O’Neill suffered repeated blows: the child born to the first wife, who was a rigorous scholar, cut his wrists to commit suicide in 1950; the boy born to the second wife contracted drug and alcohol abuse; The girl married an actor of the same age as O’Neal; O’Neal’s grief was indescribable, no one could tell, but he could only drink this bitter cup of wine.
  Even when he was dying, O’Neal still did not forget to find a “quiet place” to bury his burial. He asked his wife not to announce the news of his death, no outsiders to attend the funeral, and no priest to be present. O’Neal was buried in a large tree in the Forest Cemetery far away from Boston. Unobtrusive place behind a tree.
  Looking at O’Neill’s life, the influence of unfortunate family and marriage, and the loss of personal religious beliefs made him choose to be a hermit to escape reality and life

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