The First Man

The First Man
A Play in Four Acts

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3
(1 Review)
The First Man by Eugene O'Neill

Published:

1922

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The First Man
A Play in Four Acts

By

3
(1 Review)

Book Excerpt

. She possesses the frank, clear, direct quality of outdoors, outspoken and generous. Her wavy hair is a dark brown, her eyes blue-gray. CURTIS JAYSON is a tall, rangy, broad-shouldered man of thirty-seven. While spare, his figure has an appearance of rugged health, of great nervous strength held in reserve. His square-jawed, large-featured face retains an eager boyish enthusiasm in spite of its prevailing expression of thoughtful, preoccupied aloofness. His crisp dark hair is graying at the temples. EDWARD BIGELOW is a large, handsome man of thirty- nine. His face shows culture and tolerance, a sense of humor, a lazy unambitious contentment. CURTIS is reading an article in some scientific periodical, seated by the table. MARTHA and BIGELOW are sitting nearby, laughing and chatting.

BIGELOW--[Is talking with a comically worried but earnest air.] Do you know, I'm getting so I'm actually afraid to leave them alone with that governess. She's too romantic. I'll wager she's got a whole book full of ghost storie

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Following the deaths of their two children, a couple swears never to have more. The husband, an anthropologist, buries himself in work; the wife is his assistant. Just before departing for a 5 year long expedition to China, the wife reveals she's pregnant.
There isn't a lot of depth of character. The husband is monomaniacal, the wife is tired, the relatives are all petty and backbiting. The dialog is reasonable, given their characters, with only a few slang words that date the play.
Not great, not horrible.