Beyond the Horizon by Eugene O'Neill

Essay by cbagshawUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, December 1996

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In Beyond the Horizon and Diff'rent, Eugene O'Neill reveals that dreams are necessary to sustain life. Through the use of the characters Robert Mayo, Andrew Mayo, Ruth and Emma Crosby, O'Neill proves that without dreams, man could not exist. Each of his characters are dependent on their dreams, as they feed their destiny. When they deny their dreams, they deny their destiny, altering their lives forever. O'Neill also points out, that following your dreams, brings you true happiness, something all of his characters do not experience.

The characters of Rob, Andy and Emma are stripped of their dreams and their destinies, by the ones who profess to love them. Rob and Andy unknowingly allowed Ruth to lead them down a path, they were not meant to travel. Emma is the same as Rob and Andrew in this respect, because she let Caleb's actions control her ability to follow her dream.

Rob is a dreamer. His only wish is to go `beyond the horizon' and discover the mystery of life. Andy, however, is Rob's opposite. Andrew is practical and down-to-earth. His deepest desire is to spend his life farming. 'One constructs the world out of fact, the other out of pure imagination.' Rob's quest is strange to Andy; it goes beyond anything he can comprehend. Andrew, who is 'A Mayo through and through.' does not think in the imaginative terms Rob does. 'It's just beauty that's calling me-the beauty of the far off and quest of the secret which is hidden over there, beyond the horizon.' (Horizon, 85) Andy does understand, that his brother could never be happy living on the farm, because his heart is elsewhere. Emma is like Rob in a few ways. Both characters have idealistic views. Rob believes in the secret beyond the horizon and...