Eugene O'Neill
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Eugene O'Neill

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About Him

Grew Up… at the turn of the century. Growing up around the East coast influenced Eugene culturally, showing him both to the world of liberal politics, and literature, at a young age.

Living… on the verge of the first real socialist revolution. Eugene knows something big is about to happen in Russia. But unlike his radical friends John Reed and Louise Bryant, Eugene would rather remain in the United States and write fictional plays that capture the zeitgeist, rather than adventuring into the dangerous territory of revolution. Eugene is comfortable in Greenwich Village, where there’s a strong literary scene and good conversation.

Profession… writer. Eugene puts his plays before everything else. He intends to write masterpieces about the American dream. He is taken seriously by his peers, especially John Reed, who has formed something of an unspoken rivalry with him both personally and professionally.

Interests… alcohol, Provincetown, Massachusetts, and writing in solitude.

Relationship Status… single. When John Reed goes to the 1916 Democratic Convention, Eugene and Louise Bryant, a feminist journalist, begin an affair. Eugene’s feelings for Louise grow, but she might not requite the same depth of emotion.

Challenge… immortalizing the radical times with his work. Eugene absorbs as much of the era as possible, soaking up the politics and the left wing culture of New York. If John Reed is going to be at the front lines of the revolution in Russia, Eugene is going to stay behind and ponder continuously, using his time to craft his work into something smooth and fully formed.

Personality… quiet, brooding, witty, and emotional when drunk. Eugene isn’t the happiest or even the friendliest person around. But what he can offer is a depth of emotion and understanding about human nature. 

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