The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O’Neill

9780300117431Everyone has a reason for being in a bar drinking their lives away, but some reasons are more interesting than others. The play The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O’Neill helps show us that sometimes there maybe more to people in the bars we just assume are alcoholics, and that sometimes a long waited arrival of somebody can have adverse effects. This play takes place in the summer of 1912 in New York, inside a bar and roomer called Harry Hope’s saloon, with several drunks that all have interesting pasts, and reasons why they’re there. Most of the story is dialogue between several people in the bar who are awaiting the arrival of a great friend named Hickman. Hickman is often called by his nickname “hickey”, and is seen as a great companion, who always brings great fun and cheer to the bar. From the description the characters give, you can tell that Hickey is a fun- loving, nice, likable fellow that visits the bar for a drink every now and then. The Iceman Cometh is a very readable play, easy to understand the language, easy follow what’s happening, and not too complicated. Much of this story has religious aspects and comparisons that are at first hard to catch, but with the arrival of the “iceman”, or vessel, the comparisons become much more clear. This play easily captures the attention of the reader, or viewer, and easily became a favorite play of mine. It has been a joy to read, and I would definitely recommend it to anybody who enjoys great work; Eugene O’Neill was really at his prime.

By Amanda C.

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