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Thirst-Significance of the Title

  • Date Submitted: 04/21/2012 06:15 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 47.3 
  • Words: 1051
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Eugene O’Neill, one of the eminent American dramatists has composed several plays which distinctively explicate his dexterity as well as his fondness for endless experimentation. And certainly his experimentation with several modernist and postmodernist techniques has been revealed even in the titles of his plays. Any title of O’Neill’s play has evolved out his rigorous attempts to clarify the multifoliate significance of chainless signifiers. His play Thirst centers on the tragedy of three people, beaten by circumstance and bowed by Nemesis. But this tragedy has achieved the height of universality as the tragic note brims with the sense of inexorability and finality which culminates into the death of three persons that summarizes the quintessence of human existence, its transitoriness and utterly absurd as well as meaningless interaction with universe. The title of the drama hinges on the very word “thirst” which echoes the insatiable unquenchable desires, reflected in the utterances made by the three anonymous characters suffering in excruciating pain and agony. So, the title veritably connotes the endless suffering of human beings, destined to be lost in oblivion.
The title is impregnated with several connotations.   From the very exposition of the play, the three characters are floating on a life raft. With the development of the play, the dramatist’s experimentation with expressionistic techniques and realistic mode become able to portray the predicament of human beings whose hopes and aspirations, desires and wishes have been thwarted by the mockery of cruel fate. The irony of fate escalates when the dramatist has depicted the endless waiting of human beings for something which they never have. The title transcends the barrier of literary discourse to a metaphysical plain as the playwright has drawn the several aspects and faces of thirst desired by the puny mortals.
After the ship wreck, the three persons have...


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