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Introduction & Overview of Anna Christie by Eugene O'Neill

This Study Guide consists of approximately 60 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Anna Christie.
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Anna Christie Summary & Study Guide Description

Anna Christie Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading and a Free Quiz on Anna Christie by Eugene O'Neill.


Anna Christie went through several revisions before its Broadway debut at the Vanderbilt Theatre on November 2, 1921. O'Neill's first version was a four-act play entitled Chris, which opened in Atlantic City, New Jersey on March 8, 1920. Anna's father dominated this play, and Anna and Mat were minor roles. O'Neill called his second version The Ole Davil, which provided the outline for the final version. O'Neill's last revisions strengthened the character of Anna and reworked the plot to focus on her. The success of Anna Christie helped reinforce O'Neill's reputation as one of the finest American dramatists.

The play focuses on the problematic relationship between a sailor and the daughter he has not seen for almost twenty years. Their relationship becomes complicated by her romantic involvement with another man of the sea and her unveiling of her troubled past. In this compelling account of a young woman's decline and subsequent salvation, O'Neill presents a realistic and painful exploration of family conflict and the harsh reality of women's lives in the early part of the twentieth century. Yet, audiences and critics also praised the play's confirmation of the power of love and forgiveness. Frederic I. Carpenter, in his study of O'Neill's plays, comments that Anna Christie is "a serious study of modern life, which dramatizes that mixture of comedy and tragedy most characteristic of life."

Anna Christie was successfully adapted to the screen three times. The second version starred Greta Garbo and is considered by film critics to be one of Hollywood's finest motion pictures.

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This section contains 255 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Anna Christie Study Guide
Anna Christie from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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