This play is different from the last one that I read of O'Neill, The Emperor Jones.To begin with, it ends differently, on a happier note, and the settings are quite different too. My subsequent read, The Hairy Ape is also quite different in the setting and treatment of the characters.
The sea plays a pivotal, vital role, as a main character in Anna Christie. The characters ooze reality, and are a revelation in multiple layers, which keeps up the suspense.
Anna is a compelling character, who wins hearts despite her foibles. Chris showcases a father's love, that borders on an obsessive protective instinct, that blinds him to obvious truths about his daughter. Mat is the typical make chaivinist who has to come to terms that the love of his life is not quite what he percieved her to be.
One feels sorry for all the three key characters, who try to deal with their own fears and insecurities, while coming to terms with their love for one another.
The repeated dramatic irony is intense and compelling with each new scene and character entry. There is vivid imagery and deep symbolism, which keeps readers hooked till the end.
Overall, it is an endearing, enjoyable read from the progression of conflicts to their conclusion.
I rate the play 4.5 out of 5. Extra points are for the vivid aura that is built around the ocean, allowing readers to live the sensations associated with it.
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