Summary Of Long Day's Journey Into Night

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Long Day’s Journey into Night begins with a note of underlying anxiety and ends with the dissolution of trust, family bonds, and hope for a better future. The play tells the story of the Tyrones; theirs is not a happy tale. The youngest son Edmund is sent to a sanitarium to recover from tuberculosis. His mother Mary, who is at the centre of the family drama, struggles both to keep her morphine addiction at bay and to cope with her family’s mistrust. Mary is wrecked by narcotics and her older son, Jamie, by alcohol and whores. These factors conspire to turn the Tyrones into tormented individuals. All they want is for morning to come, another day to let the fog come in around so that they can forget the world enveloping them. . All of the Tyrones…show more content…
Despite her impassioned pleas and her half acknowledgements in the end, there is always the “blank-denial”, “I don’t know what you are talking about!” she says (74). By the Third act, the desertion which is the effect of Mary’s denials becomes so pronounced and Edmund becomes so frustrated that he turns from innuendo to direct attack and he utters the killing phrase: “it’s pretty hand to take at times, having a dope-fiend for a mother! (She winces all life seeming to drain from her face, leaving it with the appearance of a plaster cast) (80). That Mary is a “dope friend”, a “hop head” is only her children’s shame. The real failure has been Mary’s withdrawal itself apart from the social stigma attached to her addiction. The play’s most poignant utterance of this fact is Jamie’s in his quotation from Swinburne’s “A Leave-Taking” near the end: “Yea, though we sang as angels in her ear, she would not hear” (105). The Tyrone family is fragmented and each of its members, to some degree, is alienated from the past. The Tyrones try to explain how and why they have become what they are: “The things life had done to us we cannot excuse or explain. The past is the present. It is the future too”
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