Home Coming: Act II, Detailed Summary of Mourning Becomes Electra: "Mourning Becomes Electra" by O Neil



It is the study room of Ezra Mannon where Lavinia has been waiting for her mother. Christine enters in a bad temper. She is uneasy at being disturbed during rest. Lavinia tells her curtly that she wants to talk to her about her visits to New York. She reveals the fact that she had pursued her mother back to New York. She tells her:

"I saw you meet Brant!"

in New York while Christine refutes:

"I told you myself I ran into him by accident".

Lavinia furthers that she went to the place upstairs and heard her mother saying Brant that she loved him. She was kissing him. Lavinia warns her mother to stay away from that man. She promises of remaining silent about the whole affair if only she could stop meeting Brant and paid full attention to her father:

"I won't tell him, provided you give up Brant and never see him again--and promise to be a dutiful wife to Father and make up for the wrong you've done him!".

Though resiliently, Christine eventually agrees to the terms of Lavinia. However, during this meeting between the mother and daughter we realize that there has been more than cold war. The two of them hate each other. Lavinia "was born of" her mother's "disgust" of her father, the man she hated. Lavinia explains the horrors of her childhood:

"ever since I was little--when I used to come to you--with love--but you would always push me away! I've felt it ever since I can remember--your disgust!"

Christine also admits that she is the wife of a man she badly hates. Christine blames Lavinia of play treachery on her own mother: "I've watched you ever since you were little, trying to do exactly what you're doing now! You've tried to become the wife of your father and the mother of Orin! You've always schemed to steal my place!". Lavinia strongly denies and agitates.

Later Christine meets Adam and tells that Lavinia is aware their secret meetings in New York. During their conversation we come to know that Christine has fallen in love with Adam because he resembles Orin. They discuss different propositions like fleeing, killing Ezra Mannon or Christine herself telling it to her husband that she is in love with Adam Brant. She finally concludes that she has "planned it carefully" to kill her husband by giving her something instead of her medicine. She also tells him that Lavinia would not suspect and Orin will only understand what she wants him to. She says:

"They will think the excitement of coming home and the reaction was too much for his weak heart! Doctor Blake will think so".




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