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Word Count: 1,438
The Land and What It SymbolizesThe land is the most essential asset to any farmer In the play Desire Under the Elms this is also the case The land in the play is the central theme it holds all of the elements of the play together It was the object of greed as well The farm was the source of greed for three of the characters in the play Ephraim Cabot his son Eben and his new wife Abbie Peter and Simon focused their greed on the fields of gold in the West primarily in California One of the ways in which Eugene ONeill made the land symbolic in the play was through the use of stones Throughout the play stones and the walls they created are mentioned by both Ephraim Cabot and others The land on this farm was very poor from the descriptions Ephraim Cabot gives us The land from his account was covered with stones In order for him to farm his land he had to remove all the stones and decided to make walls with them This was hard work but Ephraim Cabot did not mind the back-breaking work because he felt that God was hard and this was part of His plan To Peter and Simon the stone walls were symbolic in their own way They represented a sense of confinement and imprisonment Ephraim Cabot was a man of little or no real emotion He was very hard on his children and his first wife As a result Eben Simon and Peter hated their father They felt trapped into doing his wishes and they saw no real way out To Peter and Simon the stone walls built around the farm by their father symbolized their imprisonment for life This point is clearly shown when Peter and Simon leave to go find gold in California In their jubilation upon leaving they say The halters broke-the harness is busted-the fence bars is
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