The article examines how O'Neill turned to his memory of the sinking of the Titanic in several of his early one-act plays. Thirst, Warnings, and Fog function as a triptych showing details related to the catastrophe, including the story of expert John J. Knapp, whose name O'Neill gave to the wireless operator in Warnings. Other writings—S.O.S. and In the Zone—take the fear of sinking by German U-boat as context. Ile and Where the Cross Is Made contain multiple references to sea calamities of the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. Finally, some characters (especially Maud Steele in Bread and Butter, two female figures in The Iceman Cometh, and the Mildreds in Recklessness and The Hairy Ape) symbolically wear names inspired by vessels that shipwrecked in 1912, the year of O'Neill's “second birth.”

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