Long Day's Journey Into Night Study Guide

Long Day's Journey Into Night Study Guide

Original title:
Long Day's Journey Into Night

Eugene O’Neill wrote a text that later became one of the best-acclaimed and most popular plays in the USA. “Long Day’s Journey into Night” was first played in 1956 and has won the author numerous prestigious awards ever since. Eugene O’Neill has been called the greatest drama writer for years and is still one of the favorite play authors among English-speaking literature lovers.

“Long Day’s Journey into Night” is a drama play that focuses on one day in a life of an ordinary family. It is divided into four acts and touches upon somewhat autobiographical events in the life of the author. In less than 24 hours of narration time, the author managed to describe the depth of each character and the fine meanings of their interactions between themselves.

The protagonists of the story are the Tyrone family. The events happen in their summerhouse on a nice summer day of 1912. The head of the family, James Edmund, is a famous actor who fears the poverty so much, that he invests all his earnings into buying land. Anything besides that, even getting a medical treatment, is not worth money for him. Meanwhile, the mother of the family, Mary, didn't get the proper pain treatment and she now suffers from morphine addiction, which slowly makes her go insane.

Their kids, Edmund and Jamie, also begin to suspect that their father is sick with tuberculosis. We know that the youngest son is already diagnosed with this disease and it’s only a matter of time until the hard truth is revealed for the father.

All these medical conditions only intensify the misery and despair in the family. The old wounds that might have caused poor health conditions are constantly brought up in the conversations. This makes the whole family drink to the verge of passing out towards the end of the last act.

The text overwhelms the reader with its somber mood and the feeling of desperation. The parents and the kids express a lot of dissatisfaction and accusations to one another, but they also try to make many awkward attempts to make peace with one another. It is a thorough and deep analysis of human nature that must be discovered.

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