Study Guide

The Iceman Cometh Act 3

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Act 3

  • Larry and Parritt argue about their past and present, including Parritt’s suspicion that Larry is his father, Larry’s cowardliness about committing suicide already, and Parritt’s all-but-full confession about having ratted out his mom to the cops. Eventually, this argument leads Parritt to think that Larry is telling him that he, Parritt, should hurl himself off the fire escape.
  • You know what? It’s getting a little depressing around here. How about a video of a talking dog to lighten things up.
  • Okay, back to the arguing. Chuck enters and tells Rocky he’s leaving to marry Cora. This leads to a fight between the two guys. 
  • Joe tries to get them to stop. All he gets for his efforts are some racial insults, which results in Joe drawing a knife, Chuck grabbing a bottle, and Rocky pulling a gun. Yep, good times.
  • Joe smashes a glass and walks out of the bar saying he won’t be coming back.
  • Shaky and sick-looking, but sober and in a clean suit, Willie enters, but only to rest for a few minutes.
  • Let the mass exodus begin! 
  • Wetjoen and Lewis, who have been arguing some more, leave.
  • Mosher leaves to re-join the circus. McGloin leaves to get his job back on the force. Oh, the two of them have been arguing, too.
  • Willie finally gets up the guts and heads out to go to the D.A.’s office.
  • Tomorrow finally comes for Jimmy. After arguing with Hickey, he dashes out the door.
  • Hickey turns to Harry. It’s time.
  • For the first time in twenty years, Harry steps outside. Rocky watches him cross the street. It looks like he might actually make it.
  • Harry comes back. He says he almost got killed by an automobile. Last time he went out into the world, there were no automobiles.
  • Harry starts drinking, but he claims the alcohol has no kick. He says Hickey must have messed with it. All Harry wants is to get drunk and pass out.
  • Harry admits he never really liked the wife he says he’s been missing for twenty years.
  • Hickey thought when Harry gave up on his pipe dream of walking around the old neighborhood and connecting with his old friends, he would finally be at peace, but he admits Harry is not taking things the way he had hoped. 
  • Now, it’s time for Larry to mount his attack again. He claims Hickey must have driven his wife to suicide. 
  • Hickey says it wasn’t suicide. It was (cue dramatic music) murder!
  • Inspired or haunted by Hickey’s words, Parritt admits he’s the one that sold his mother out. Yep, he’s the reason dear old mom is in jail. We already knew that.
  • Hickey starts to lose his control on the situation. He really thought what he did was going to help everyone. He tells Harry it’s time to start feeling happy. Fat chance.
  • Curtain.

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