Eugene O’Neill: Long Day’s Journey into Night The LongDay’s Journey into Night is a biography of the author that presentselements of his own family and life such as O’ Neill’s father and brother andtheir excessive drinking condition, his mother that was addicted to morphine,and O’Neill himself with his drinking problems and tuberculosis. In both cases,the author’s family and the family presented in the play take refuge in theworst habits to get away from the reality that storms them. Long Day’s Journey into Night revolves around an American familybroken by frustrations and vices. Mary, a woman with an addiction to morphine, ismarried to James Tyrone, an actor who has spent his life on the road withoutbeing able to establish a stable home- a metaphor of the family instability.The marriage has two children, Edmundo and Jimmy.
Edmundo shows talent forpoetry but he is seriously ill, while Jimmy, forced by his father to dedicatehimself to the theater, cannot keep himself on track and spends all the moneythat falls into his hands in drinks. The play becomes a journey into the pastto reveal the intimacies of its four members, guilty and not to being able toforget; at the same time innocence, love, and understanding to one another. Long Day’s Journey into Night is considered a Realistic Drama because it is a story that canhappen every day in our families. Theexposition begins in the living room of the Tyrone summer residence, where thefamily members talk and have breakfast together. It will be in the course ofthat day when all the lies, hypocrisies, and complaints will come out to thelight.
The play takes place from morning to night of the same day in whichO’Neill immerses his characters in a slow, painful, and long journey into thenight exposing the tragedies of the past, resentments, disappointments, anddemonstrations of affection between the family members. The dialecticalconfrontations between the characters not only draw convulsive familyrelationships but also the environment that represents the true condition ofsome American families at the beginning of the 20th century. This is a storythat reflects the feelings of love, hate, and ghosts hidden in the depths ofpeople’s being. One of the strong points of this play is the dialogue full oftension and a constant game between love and hate, passing from a moment of kissand embrace to the cruelest and harmful reproach.
In addition, one the mostimportant themes of the play are the loneliness and lack of communication presentednot only among families but also among society and its constant search for who to blame aboutfrustrations and failures. Another important theme is the impact of thepast on the present of the characters’ personality. In O’Neill, the search andanswer for identity are focused on the past events of each character of thestory.