The play Long Day's Journey Into Night by Eugene O'Neill illustrates the typical American family in a new era by using the Tyrone's family as an example. The family consists of four members. James Tyrone, the husband to Mary Tyrone. The couple has two sons, Jamie and Edmund. The constant and continuous quarrel in the family among family members is unusually a major part of their daily life. All the characters in the play are responsible for the emerging of theses conflicts in some ways or the other.
For example, James's tinginess not only leads to the failure of his acting profession but also creates others' discontent and toward him; Mary is addicted to morphine and does not have the strength to withdraw herself. Even though there is underlying love persists in the family, the two brothers' conflicts with Mary and James in particular contribute to the gradual breakdown of the family profoundly as well. Mary Tyrone, the mother to Jamie and Edmund, is a drug abuser. Despite the fact that Mary resumes the use of morphine after treatment from the sanatorium, the two brothers still express their support and care toward her.
For example, Jamie conceals Edmund's illness from Mary because she is in a process of recovery from withdrawal. Being afraid that Mary is getting depressed and worried over Edmund's illness, Jamie says "OH, nothing in particular," even though he knows for sure that Edmund has tuberculosis. When Jamie finds out that Mary is back on morphine again, he is definitely hopeless and pessimistic. He no longer has the trust in Mary's ability in overcoming the desire for drug. As a result, Jamie's worries becomes so strong that he blames Edmund for "leave her so long" instead of "stick around" (2026). He confronts Mary indirectly in hope to end her dependence on drug.
Unfortunately, this only brings Mary's resentment toward his skepticism. Like Jamie, Edmund loves and cares about Mary. Edmund refuses to accept the fact that Mary is consuming morphine again. When Jamie tells him about Mary's situation, Edmund reacts by saying "she didn't. you are crazy" (2026). Although Edmund is suspicious himself, he can not accept the fact that his mother once again is using drug.
By the time Edmund can no longer deny Mary's use of morphine, he shows his confidence and hope to Mary, "I'm trying to help" Edmund says (2023). At the same time, Edmund tries to convince Jamie and James that Mary "can still stop it" (2026). While Mary feels that she is being "spied" on by the rest of the family, Edmund assures her that the whole family "trust" her, so that Mary does not give up (2021). Also, Jamie's failure in his acting profession and Edmund's pursue in a writing career leads to James' disappointment. This is also another cause for the ceaseless arguments in the Tyrone's family. James has great discontent toward Jamie's progress in his career.
while no one is present, James immediately shows his anger and frustration on Jamie's life style and personality. For example, James accuses Jamie of being lazy and his lack of ambition. James describes Jamie as. he says Jamie is dismissed from several colleges, yet he does not appreciate when James finds him a position in Broadway shows.
According to James, Jamie not only does not have dreams and goals, but he lives in depravity and corruption. Furthermore, Jamie is condemned for indulging himself with alcohol and prostitution and takes James' wealth for granted. Similarly, James expresses the same disheartening and hopeless attitude toward Edmund's profession. Edmund has ambition of becoming a successful writer, but James has reservation on his future.
Rather than fostering Edmund's own interests, James attacks his reference for literature by saying "why can't you remember your Shakespeare and forget the third-raters" (2065). James thinks that Edmund's admiration to "Voltaire, Rousseau, Schopenhauer" is the root for his "despair and pessimism" (2061). In addition to that, Jamie calls Edmund a fool for not believing in god. Depict to all James' complaints toward him, Edmund disagrees strongly.
The verbal exchange between Edmund and James shows that James' use of his authority as a father to command what Edmund should do with his life. But Edmund takes a different path than what James hopes for. Both Jamie and Edmund's rebellion against James' favor builds up the tension between them. Finally, the two brothers's haring of loyalty, love and respect for each other is stressed throughout the play. First, when Jamie finds out that Edmund is to be sent away for tuberculosis, he pressures James to choose a better sanatorium. "well, for god's sake, pick out a good place and not some cheap dump" says Jamie (2035).
Jamie constantly accuses James of value money more than his own son. Also, when James accuses Jamie for "poison" Edmund's mind, Jamie defends himself and denies the allegation "That's rotten accusation Papa. You know how much that kid means to me" (2065). Jamie claims that he is always "close" to edmund and he is to do "anything for him" (2016). Even before Jamie admits his jealousy for Edmund, he still says to Edmund that if "no one else gives a damn if you die" but he is always the one who does (2072). Regardless of how much he loves Edmund, Mary and James always condemning him for ruining Edmund's life.
Edmund, on the other hand, does not feel the same. Rather, Edmund tries to ignore his parents warning against Jamie. For the most time, Edmund avoid to blame Jamie for his problems even his parents say so. Edmund is obviously devastated by Jamie's confession. In reaction to that, however, there is no sign of hatred showed by Edmund.
Edmund's forgiveness and love to Jamie actually resolves a some conflicts in the family. The Tyrone's family daily life is filled with fighting, bitterness, and ceaseless arguments among family members, for everyone in the family has at least one accusation against the other. arguments and excuses made by each character in the play appears repeatedly in four acts, yet not any of those get resolved. Besides Mary's addiction and James's tinginess, Jamie and Edmund are the key factors to the fall of the family also. They both love Mary and hope she is able to regain her health, but their inefficient ways of dealing with the problem worsen the situation. In addition, Jamie and Edmund's different perspectives on life results in James' hopelessness and resignation.
as the family gets closer to the night, they are getting closer to the ultimate disunity. not available.