“Desire Under the Elms” (1924) is a modern tragedy written by Eugene O’Neill (1888 – 1953). Cabot is the father of Simeon, Peter, and Eben. He is 75 years old and the husband of Abbie, 35 years old. Five major characters develop the play in which the relationship between three sons and their father is not good at all. Let us discuss it.
Lack of responsibility
Simeon is 39 years old and his wife, Jenny died eighteen years ago. But there is no sign of Cabot’s help to marry Simeon. He marries Abbie at 75 years old. That is nothing but a lack of responsibility.
Domination over the sons
The relationship between the father and the sons is not good for dominating attitude. Cabot always wants to dominate his family members. Eben claims that his father kills his mother for hard work tendency. Cabot makes all the members of the farmhouse hard workers.
Cabot’s sin and retribution
After scanning the play, we get his sin. First of all, his sin is he is the person of very orthodox. For that reason, he has no good relationship with his family members. His second notable sin, according to Eben, he takes forcibly the ownership of the farm from his mother and killing his mother through hard work tendency.
More Notes: Desire Under the Elms
O’Neill shows the stereotypical mentality of Cabot in the play in a fantastic way. This is one of the important philosophical views of puritanism. Cabot is the follower of a “hard worker” and a “hard God”. He never goes outside of his stony land. He never wants to lose his ownership of the farmhouse at any cost. He says:
“Cabot: …. The farm will remain mine.”
Even, in the last part of the play, he wants to burn his farmhouse so that nobody can possess it.
To sum up, we come to know after scanning the play that Cabot is a hard-working man and he makes everyone a hard worker without any excuse. Cabot remains lonesome forever in the farmhouse.