Beyond The Horizon and Diff\'rent by Eugene O\'Neill


In Beyond the Horizon and Diff\'rent, Eugene O\'Neill reveals that dreams
are necessary to sustain life. Through the use of the characters Robert Mayo,
Andrew Mayo, Ruth and Emma Crosby, O\'Neill proves that without dreams, man could
not exist. Each of his characters are dependent on their dreams, as they feed
their destiny. When they deny their dreams, they deny their destiny, altering
their lives forever. O\'Neill also points out, that following your dreams,
brings you true happiness, something all of his characters do not experience.
The characters of Rob, Andy and Emma are stripped of their dreams and
their destinies, by the ones who profess to love them. Rob and Andy unknowingly
allowed Ruth to lead them down a path, they were not meant to travel. Emma is
the same as Rob and Andrew in this respect, because she let Caleb\'s actions
control her ability to follow her dream. Rob is a dreamer. His only wish is to
go \'beyond the horizon\' and discover the mystery of life. Andy, however, is
Rob\'s opposite. Andrew is practical and down-to-earth. His deepest desire is
to spend his life farming. "One constructs the world out of fact, the other out
of pure imagination." Rob\'s quest is strange to Andy; it goes beyond anything he
can comprehend. Andrew, who is "A Mayo through and through." does not think in
the imaginative terms Rob does. "It\'s just beauty that\'s calling me-the beauty
of the far off and unknown...in quest of the secret which is hidden over there,
beyond the horizon." (Horizon, 85) Andy does understand, that his brother could
never be happy living on the farm, because his heart is elsewhere. Emma is like
Rob in a few ways. Both characters have idealistic views. Rob believes in the
secret beyond the horizon and Emma in Caleb\'s fidelity. Neither of them
consider the fact things may not be as they perceive them. For Emma, this
innocence is her undoing. Emma considers Caleb to be \'diff\'rent\'. This
difference is what makes him special to her. She trusts he will always be this
way and that they will always have a future. "But you\'re diff\'rent. You just
got to be diff\'rent from the rest." Andrew is not like Rob or Emma. He is
always logical. He considers Rob\'s dreams to be a result of his College
education, something Andy does not have. Andy has no desire to go anywhere
beyond the farm, because it has everything he needs. He is the one to tell Rob
that "we\'ve got all you\'re looking for right on this farm." (Horizon, 85) This
is his nature and to change it, alters the course of his life, as well as that
of the people around him.
In Beyond The Horizon, Ruth is the catalyst for the changes that occur.
She convinces Rob she loves him and that he should stay on the farm, instead of
going in search of his dreams. "Oh, Rob! Don\'t go away! Please! You musn\'t
now! You can\'t! I won\'t let you! It\'d break my --my heart!" (Horizon, 91)
Rob does not consider the long-term effects of this decision, he sees only
momentary satisfaction. Rob does not realize the impact his decision will have
on Andy, who is also in love with Ruth. Andy, thinks he could never stand to
live on the farm, with Ruth and Rob married. He feels in time he would grow to
hate it. "I can wish you and Ruth all the good luck in the world...but you
can\'t expect me to stay around here and watch you two together, day after day."
(Horizon, 110) So, Andy defies his own nature and sets out on the boat, Rob was
to travel on, in search of happiness. This is a point that Andy is similar to
Emma, in the way that she reacted to someone else\'s actions. Caleb cheated on
her when he was away at sea. Emma being a highly moral person, cannot love him
the same way any more. "I can\'t Ma. It makes him another person--not Caleb,
but someone just like all the others." (Dif, 512) Emma made Caleb out to be the
perfect man and made him totally infallible in her eyes. She did not fall in
love with Caleb the person, but with Caleb the ideal, that never actually
existed. Many people try to save her from making the biggest mistake of her
life, like Rob tried to stop Andy, but to no avail. Emma remains firm in her
decision, despite