Death and Dreams in "The Iceman Cometh" Analytical Essay by Nicky

An analysis of the play "The Iceman Cometh" by Eugene O'Neill.
# 146464 | 1,804 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Dec 28, 2010 in Drama and Theater (American)

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The paper discusses the theme of pipe dreams throughout the play "The Iceman Cometh" by Eugene O'Neill. The writer explains that the themes of this play are complex, like most of O'Neill's works, and they give an energy and depth to the play that make it memorable and disturbing at the same time. The paper also focuses on the theme of death and explains how this play qualifies as a tragedy.

From the Paper:

"For Hugo, Larry, and Don's mother, the pipe dream is one with political overtones. Larry, once an anarchist, has given up the movement and Don's mother (who Larry dated for years) is currently under arrest because of her activities in the movement. It turns out Don is the one who turned her in, so the politics of these three is convoluted and troubling at the same time. For Hickey, the pipe dream is salvation and freedom from guilt; while the others all suffer from what Larry calls the "tomorrow movement," they are all waiting for something that will always happen "tomorrow." Larry tells Don, "The little guy between them was in it, too, as correspondent for some English paper. His nickname here is Jimmy Tomorrow. He's the leader of our Tomorrow Movement" (O'Neill 35). Thus, all the characters in the play have some kind of pipe dream that keeps them contented and gives them a certain amount of hope at the same time."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Dugan, Lawrence. "O'Neill and the Wobblies: The IWW as a Model for Failure in the Iceman Cometh." Comparative Drama (2002): 109+.
  • O'Neill, Eugene. The Iceman Cometh. New York: Random House, 1946.
  • Raleigh, John Henry. The Plays of Eugene O'Neill. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1965.
  • Voglino, Barbara. Perverse Mind: Eugene O'Neill's Struggle with Closure. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1999.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Death and Dreams in "The Iceman Cometh" (2010, December 28) Retrieved December 08, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Death and Dreams in "The Iceman Cometh"" 28 December 2010. Web. 08 December. 2022. <>