Mrs. Atkins is Ruth’s widowed, invalid mother, who never forgives her daughter for marrying Robert Mayo instead of Andy. Mrs. Atkins criticizes Robert’s inefficiency in running both the Mayo farm and her farm. She also complains about Ruth and Robert’s sickly child, Mary, who often cries to her mother. Mrs. Atkins is an extremely religious person and says cruelly to Kate Mayo that her husband died early because he was a sinner and that the ill-fated marriage between Robert and Ruth was also a result of God’s will. Although Mrs. Atkins claims in the second act that she is about to die, she outlives many of the other characters and survives until the end of the play. At this point, she is sneaking money to Ruth behind Robert’s back to help pay the bills, since Robert is having a hard time keeping the farm running on his own.
Ruth Atkins is Mrs. Atkins’s daughter and the wife of Robert Mayo. In the beginning, she dates Andy, but she falls in love with Robert when he speaks about his dream of going on a sea voyage. As a result, she tells him she does not love Andy and convinces Robert not to go on his voyage. Her choice influences Andy to leave the Mayo farm and take Robert’s place on the voyage, since he cannot bear to see Ruth with another man, especially his brother. As the play goes on, Ruth’s happiness and her ability to love slowly wane. Three years later, Ruth has...
(The entire section is 1751 words.)
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