The Social Implication of Internal Instincts and Hidden Motives in O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra

Document Type: Research Paper


Department of English Literature, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Iran


American playwright, Eugene Gladstone O’Neill (1888-1953) is presenter of truth without comprising his beliefs. His works are dramatized by passion elements such as memories, dreams, and by awareness of forces. During mid-1920s he became interested in dramatizing complicated pattern of his family’s life. Mourning Becomes Electra, which opened on Oct. 26, 1931, and had fourteen acts, was O'Neill's greatest masterpiece. In fact it is one of the most psychological works ever written in which all the characters resemble complexes introduced by great psychologist, Sigmund Freud. The power of irrational that is driven by the existence of subconscious and the role of instinct, repression, suppression, influence of parents and above of all, inhibition is the formation of personality and in adults are the causes of suffering according to the importance of sensual relationship which is based on their instinct. “Instinct is a continual internal stimulus, which produces specific satisfaction if it obtains sufficient response. (Freud 129).