Prostitutes (harlots, whores, or tarts) appear throughout Eugene O'Neill's canon in various contexts, from his early play The Web to later works including The Great God Brown, The Iceman Cometh, and Long Day's Journey Into Night. These characters form a complex collection of personalities, including the disaffected (Rose Thomas), the romantic (Anna Christie), the maternal (Cybel and Fat Violet), and the monogamous (Sara Melody Harford). The common thread linking all of these characters is that the prostitutes invariably serve to reveal flaws and inadequacies of the male characters. O'Neill's own experience with prostitutes informs his portrait of these women.

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