Themes and Meanings

(Survey of Dramatic Literature)

Morning’s at Seven provides audiences with a backyard look at how a family secret almost destroys a sisterly bond that has held the Gibbs sisters together for forty years despite their schoolgirl jealousies, the quirkiness of the three brothers-in-law, and a forty-year-old oddball nephew.

The main conflict of the play arises when Cora decides she wants her single sister Arry to move out of her house. After so many years, Cora is tired of providing a home for her younger sister. She wants a place of her own and a house where she can have her husband Thor all to herself. The family structure is shaken, however, when Arry admits to an affair that she had with Thor years earlier while Cora was in the hospital.

Paul Osborn’s story is filled with long, drawn-out conversations and pointless philosophical tirades as the Gibbs sisters and their husbands talk extensively about medical checkups and the complications of adding a downstairs bathroom to a house. Initially these discussions come across as trivial; however, beneath the “nice” talk lies the psychological damage that quickly reveals itself in the unfulfilled lives of the play’s characters. Homer’s father, Carl, who suffers from “spells,” laments about what his life might have been if he had only become a dentist: “That’s not so much to ask! Just to be a dentist. Charlie Watson went on and became a dentist! But I wasn’t up to it!” Homer seems to be headed in the...

(The entire section is 474 words.)