The Haunted: third part of the trilogy, Detailed Summary of Mourning Becomes Electra: "Mourning Becomes Electra" by O Neil



After her mother has died, Lavinia is left with Orin. In a short while Orin has been taking the fullest interest in her. She resembles her mother and this has directed attention of Orin from a brotherly love to something much more than that. He gets jealous of her when she is with Peter. Though unconsciously, Lavinia is also very much jealous of Hazel. She does not want Orin to go to their place. However, Orin has been in deep gloom due to the loss of their mother. He has decided to write the family history and the sins they have committed. Later in the play, when he senses that Lavinia is a bit too interested in Peter, he warns her not to meet him again. He doesn't want her to marry him. She agrees at first but when Orin reveals that he wants her as a man. He wants to love her desperately; she draws back and calls him names. She calls him the worst animal. She even asks him to kill himself if he has anything left of shame. She meets Peter and falls in his arms. Out of jealousy, guilt and failure Orin shoots himself.

After the funeral, Lavinia is curious to marry Peter. She asks him to marry her the same day. She wants passionate love from him even before marriage. She considers it is no sin to love before marriage. Her mental agony is crushing her senses. She jumps on Peter and starts kissing in an extreme emotional manner. But instead of calling him Peter, she says "love me Adam". And abruptly awoken by her own realization she gets away from Peter in a frenzy admitting:

"Always the dead between! It's no good trying any more!".

She says :

"I can't marry you, Peter. You mustn't ever see me again".

She asks him to "go home. Make it up with your mother and Hazel. Marry someone else. Love isn't permitted to me. The dead are too strong".

She feels as if she cannot get rid of the sins of her past and her family history. She mutters:

"And there's no one left to punish me. I'm the last Mannon. I've got to punish myself! Living alone here with the dead is a worse act of justice than death or prison! I'll never go out or see anyone!"




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