Beyond the Horizon

by Eugene O’Neill

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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 274

O’Neill gives his play an ambiguous ending, leaving the audience to wonder what happens to Ruth and Andy. Write a plot summary for a fourth act to the play. Discuss whether Andy and Ruth get married, where they live (together or separately), and how their lives end. Use elements from the first three acts of the play to support your ideas.

Research what the life of a farmer was like in the late 1910s and what life is like for today’s farmers. Using this information, plot a typical day in the life of a farmer from each era, scheduling each major task. How did the hours, work environment, and lifestyle of a farmer in the early twentieth century compare to those of a modern farmer?

Research what life at sea was like for a young, untrained man in his twenties during this time period, including his shipboard duties and the steps he followed to advance through the ranks. Using this information, write a short job description— in the style of a modern employment ad— for an entry-level sailor position, incorporating a specific description of duties as well as the advancement potential of the job.

Robert is a chronically sick person who eventually dies of tuberculosis, although the doctor says that he could have possibly restored his health by going to a better climate. Research health-related travel, sanitariums, and other methods that people used in the early twentieth century to combat tuberculosis and other serious illnesses. How successful were these measures? How do you think Robert’s health would have fared if he had taken the sea voyage as he had initially planned?

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