The Web (1913)


O’Neill in Provincetown, likely in 1916

Written in 1913 when Eugene O’Neill was convalescing from tuberculosis, The Web demonstrates the talents of the playwright early in his career.  The play does much work in just one act, as O’Neill traces the tragic effects of poverty on a young woman who is ensnared in the web of prostitution.  Though never staged in his life-time, The Web is worth our attention, for it shares many affinities with later plays that show the effects of poverty and cultural constraints on women, such as “Anna Christie.”


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