Because his father was often on tour with a theatrical company, accompanied by Eugene's mother, O'Neill was sent to St. O'Neill's plays were among the first to include speeches in American vernacular and involve characters on the fringes of society. Part of the change in the nature of O'Neill's work grew out of its more personal nature during this period, as he started to use his plays to help sort out the various intellectual conflicts that he felt as a lapsed Catholic, among other personal issues in his life and the history of his family.
Though the acclaimed actor continued to perform in subsequent productions of the play, he eventually had a falling out with O'Neill who argued with Gilpin's tendency to change his use of the word "nigger" to Negro and colored during performances.
Monterey later became the playwright's third wife. Even as his parents and siblings were falling from the vine, however, O'Neill was writing and producing one of his most enduringly popular works, Desire Under the Elms which turned Walter Huston into a stage star.
O'Neill in the mids. Eugene's parents' life also played an important role in his own life. He was disowned by his father before also committing suicide by jumping out of a window a number of years later.