Eugene O’Neill; Erich Fromm; American drama; Desire Under the Elms; love
Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
S. Caputa, A. Woźniakowska (red.), "Wielkie tematy literatury amerykańskiej. T. 7, Miłość" (S. 45-55). Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
The authoress of this article has attempted to read the play by an American
playwright Eugene O’Neill in the light of the concept of love as proposed by Erich Fromm
in 1956. This German philosopher argued that the only way to escape loneliness, a feeling
to which everybody is doomed, is to unite oneself with another person in love.
In a popular publication, titled The Art of Loving, Fromm describes various forms of love;
Desire Under the Elms – a play written more than three decades before Fromm’s publication
– seems to illustrate these philosophical considerations. Such a view on O’Neill’s work
allows to notice its human dimension, and perceive its protagonists as an embodiment
of the universal human condition.