A PIPE DREAM IS STILL A DREAM. ILLUSION AND REALITY IN THE ICEMAN COMETH AND OTHER PLAYS BY EUGENE O’NEILL


Posted On Dec 11 2017 by

Hickey, the Iceman, has gained a legendary status in the history of modern American drama and has been portrayed on stage by some of the finest actors of their generation (Jason Robards, Lee Marvin, Kevin Spacey, Nathan Lane). O’Neill has given his charismatic, flamboyant protagonist a task of great magnitude: to disenchant dreams and illusions, for they distort reality causing an ultimate “fragmentation of personalities”. However, the line between a dream and reality, the real and the ideal self, reason and desire, is a fine and delicate one. Thus, Hickey – the self-appointed Savior, by openly spelling out the facts, unintentionally causes a great disturbance in the private world those around him have created. This paper will analyze the notion of the complex interdependence between dreams and reality, the impossibility of their harmonious coexistence, along the major role and inner mechanisms of a pipe dream in some of O’Neill’s best work, mainly in reference to a conviction that “The lie of a pipe dream is what gives life to a the whole misbegotten mad lot of us, drunk or sober” (Larry Slade in The Iceman Cometh).

Last Updated on: December 11th, 2017 at 12:58 P, by admin


Written by admin