40 pages 1 hour read

Eugene O'Neill

Beyond the Horizon

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1920

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Act IIAct Summaries & Analyses

Act II Summary

Act II begins three years later in the same sitting room of the Mayo’s farmhouse. The home hasn’t changed too much, but there is an atmosphere of neglect about the place. Mrs. Atkins and Kate Mayo are discovered sat together, with Mrs. Atkins complaining that Rob is late for his dinner again. It is revealed that in the interceding years, Rob and Ruth have married and had a sickly daughter called Mary. Meanwhile, James Mayo died two years earlier. Mrs. Atkins criticizes their children, especially Rob, whom she blames for running the farm poorly. Kate hopelessly tries to defend Rob and says luck has been against him, but Rob is not the natural farmer that his father and brother were.

Mrs. Atkins is outraged that Rob is planning to mortgage the farm to raise some money, but Kate passively accepts and says Rob will manage until Andy gets back. Lamenting that James never had the opportunity to see Andy again and forgive him, Kate blames James’s stubbornness and pride for causing his death. Mrs. Atkins takes a keen interest in Andy’s imminent return and claims he would have been a better match for Ruth.