Structural Analysis of the Play, Long Day's Journey Into Night by Eugene O'Neill
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Long Day's Journey into Night is one of Eugene O'Neill's later plays. He wrote it for his wife on the occasion of their 12th wedding anniversary in 1940. The play was written in four parts. The drama is very similar to O'Neill's family situation as a young man, but more importantly, it has become a universal play representing the problems of a family that cannot live in the present, mired in the dark recesses of a bitter, troubled past. Because of its deeply personal nature, O'Neill requested that the play be published posthumously, which meant that the play was not revealed to the world until O'Neill's death in 1956.
The characters of the play are the Tyrone family. James Tyrone is the husband of Mary and the father of Jamie and Edmund, who was once a famous actor who toured the U. S. with his wife. At age 10, he was abandoned by his Irish father who forced him to work to support himself, he has a strong work ethic and an appreciation for money that makes him extremely stingy. Cathleen is the maid of the family who only appears in the play briefly. Mary is a woman who struggles from a morphine addiction that has lasted over two decades. Jamie and Edmund are brothers. The former relies on his parents for financial support, who squanders money on booze and women, and the latter, ten years younger, is an intellectual and romantic dreamer and works harder, whom Mary always holds out hope that become a success one day.
The play is set in the summer home of the Tyrone family,