Comment on the significance of the Elms

Comment on the significance of the Elms

Question: Comment on the significance of the Elms in the play “Desire Under the Elms”.


“Desire Under the Elms” (1924) is a modern tragedy written by Eugene O’Neill (1888 – 1953). The title of the play is significant. The Elms are used symbolically here.

Click here: for all notes of Drama

The dominance of female characters 

There are two huge elms trees beside the farm. They are comparable to exhausted women resting their sagging breasts and hands and hair on its roof. They represent Cabot’s two dead wives.


The green hue of the elms stands for fertility which is denied in the house since the death of Eben’s mother.

Symbol of nature

Abbie tells Eben that nature will beat him. Abbie’s seduction is clearly a retributive act. In this sense, nature beats him. When Abbie depicts the sexual desire for the growth of elm trees, she draws attention to them as symbols of nature.


To sum up, it is undoubtedly said that the elm trees are used symbols of nature, fertility and dominance of female characters.

Click here: for all notes of Desire Under the Elms

Ruhul Huda
Ruhul Huda

You can call me Mr. Huda. I am a researcher and doing this work for years. I like to learn everywhere. So, feel free to share your experience with me.

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