Elements of folk drama in Desire Under the Elms


“Desire Under the Elms” (1924) is a modern tragedy written by Eugene O’Neill (1888 – 1953). Folk refers to the carriers of culture, social norms, customs, and behavior of ordinary people in ordinary situations. 

Folk drama  

Folk drama is a type of drama performed by an ethnic or folk group that has developed traditional rules for time, place, and performance methods. In American folk drama, the conventional pattern of action, character, and belief is developed. “Desire Under the Elms” conforms exactly to the traditional way of American folk drama.  

The following aspects of its characters are consistent with the tradition of American folk drama. 

  • Cabot’s realization of the world as the source of his salvation is an element of folk drama. 
  • Eben’s sense of displacement at the farm is one of these aspects of folk drama. 
  • Abby’s exotic weirdness/ strangeness and her desire to come home are entirely within the tradition. 
  • Rural New England dialect that uses its characters. 
  • The rural setting of the play and its characters are simple farming folk. 

More Notes: Desire Under the Elms


From the light of the above discussion, we may assert that the features of a folk play are related to the drama.  

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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