The play was unsuccessful when first presented in , and was later regarded as unsatisfactory by its author, but has been successfully revived since the s. Some critics have thought aspects of the tormented hero reflect Eliot's own difficulties with his estrangement from his first wife.
The play is in two acts, set in Wishwood, a stately home in the north of England. At the beginning, the family of Amy, Dowager Lady Monchensey are assembling for her birthday party. She is, as her doctor later explains, clinging on to life by sheer willpower:.
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Lady Monchensey's two brothers-in-law and three sisters are present, and a younger relation, Mary, but none of Lady Monchensey's three sons. Among other things they discuss the sudden, and not to them wholly unwelcome, death at sea of the wife of the eldest son Harry, the present Lord Monchensey.
Neither of the younger sons ever appears, both being slightly injured in motoring accidents, but Harry soon arrives, his first appearance at Wishwood for eight years. He is haunted by the belief that he pushed his wife off the ship. In fact Harry has an alibi for the time, but whether he killed her or not he wished her dead and his feelings of guilt are the driving force in the rest of the play. Mary, who has been earmarked by Amy as a future wife for Harry, wishes to escape from life at Wishwood, but her aunt Agatha tells her that she must wait:. Agatha reveals to Harry that his father attempted to kill Amy while Harry was in her womb, and that Agatha prevented him.
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Far from being grateful, Amy resented and still resents Agatha's depriving her of her husband. Harry, with Agatha's encouragement, announces his intention to go away from Wishwood, leaving his steady younger brother John to take over.
Amy, despairing at Harry's renunciation of Wishwood, dies offstage , "An old woman alone in a damned house", and Harry and his faithful servant, Downing, leave. The play is partly in blank verse though Eliot uses a stress-based metre, with usually four or five stresses per line and not the iambic pentameter and partly in prose. Eliot had already experimented with verse drama in Murder in the Cathedral , and continued to use the form in his post-war stage works. Despite these Greek themes, Stephen Spender commented that the whole play was "about the hero's discovery of his religious vocation as a result of his sense of guilt.
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The Manchester Guardian opened its review:. The review added that apart from the chorus of baffled uncles and aunts, "one looks elsewhere in vain for any articulate philosophy. Martin Browne summed up the critical response:.
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By the time of the revival, Kenneth Tynan was referring to "this has-been, would-be masterpiece": "though Mr Eliot can always lower the dramatic temperature, he can never raise it: and this is why the theatre, an impure assembly that loves strong emotions, must ultimately reject him. It makes me and my family more intimate. Reunification of families is usually a family far from home, it is an activity aimed at bringing together families, so it is rare to meet each other. My family often see each other as unnecessary, so my family has never see my family again.
People I have family reunion usually know to move people from several states hundreds of miles on the east coast.
The whole family member. Family reunion is traditionally a period of time for families to gather to enjoy each other.
My family does not believe in the whole party as my family is automatically divided into three different groups each time a family reunion or similar event happens. These groups are gossip, sports critic and gamer. Whenever we gather, these three groups will always form and eventually do the same. Other holidays are a wonderful choice for family reunion. They tried other dates, but the Thanksgiving festival proved to be great for everyone.