Bound East for Cardiff: One Act Play - Summary

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      Bound East for Cardiff is a one-act play which tells of a dying sailor on a freighter cud the stock loneliness that overcomes the sailor’s friend upon his death. Yank imagines that he is visited by a “pretty lady dressed in black” before he passes away.

      The play, which takes place on the board of a ship and deals with the last moments in the life of the seaman Yank, is almost without plot and gains its effects entirely from the atmosphere, simple, true-to-life characters, and a kind of naturalistic speech unknown in American drama of the time. It shows the gradual sinking of the wounded Yank into death. All dialogue and no action, the play forces the audience to confront fear of life running, fighting the despair of annihilation and possible nothingness that follows.

      The disparity between the roaring laughter of seamen and the aching groans of the dying Yank is striking. The imminence of death is suggested by the thick fog which is lifted when Yank dies.

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