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. Rob is a dreamer.
Andrew is practical and down-to-earth. His deepest desire is to spend his life farming. Emma is like Rob in a few ways. Both characters have idealistic views. Neither of them consider the fact things may not be as they perceive them. For Emma, this innocence is her undoing. 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. He is always logical.
Beyond the Horizon
Andy has no desire to go anywhere beyond the farm, because it has everything he needs. 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. 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. Caleb cheated on her when he was away at sea.
Emma being a highly moral person, cannot love him the same way any more. It makes him another person—not Caleb, but someone just like all the others. 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. However, even he does not realize it till the end.
For each of the characters, tragedy results, because they did not follow their destinies. Ruth because of her haste in deciding to marry Rob, has grown to hate him. She realizes that she never loved him and wishes Andy would come home and save her from her prison of a marriage. Her consolation is that the absent Andy still loves her and he will be a final refuge for her. He realizes what he has been deprived of and thinks he still has a chance to reclaim it.
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Beyond the Horizon
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Eugene O’Neill’s Beyond the Horizon: Summary & Analysis
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