Long Day's Journey Into Night
Drugs and Alcohol Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience. Became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like the veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see – and seeing the secret, are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on toward nowhere, for no good reason! (4.1.148)
Sure, the whole experience of sitting on a sailboat is beautiful, and we're all in favor of the environment, but let's be honest about what's going on here: Edmund's saying that the best high he ever got was from nature. His out-of-body experiences in nature have done all that the Tyrones want their drugs to do and so much more. Instead of just forgetting the present reality, this high demolishes the entire idea of reality, and takes you one step further outside the box of your life. Now that's some potent stuff.
I suppose I can't forgive her – yet. It meant so much. I'd begun to hope, if she'd beaten the game, I could, too. (4.1. 92)
In this tragic moment, right before he breaks down in tears, Jamie admits he has an addiction for the first time in this play. Not only does he admit it, but he also says that he was hoping to quit drinking and womanizing, but now he's without hope. This gives us a sympathetic new angle on Jamie, because he hadn't seemed the type to acknowledge his own problems – especially after the "Fat Violet" episode.
Got to take revenge. On everyone else. Especially you. Oscar Wilde's "Reading Gaol" has the dope twisted. The man was dead and so he had to kill the thing he loved. That's what it ought to be. The dead part of me hopes you won't get well. (4.1. 206)
Cool literary reference here, as Jamie brings up a great poem, Wilde's "Ballad of Reading Gaol." In this poem, Wilde writes about a man threatened to death for killing his wife. He writes: "The man had killed the thing he loved / And so he had to die." Here, Jamie inverts the causality. Instead, once you die on the inside, as Jamie has, you lose control of yourself, and are forced to kill the thing you love (i.e., in Jamie's case, Edmund). In spite of all of his tears, Jamie is still hesitant to attribute total blame to himself in trying to hurt Edmund. Instead, it is a part of him he can't control that contemplates doing evil to his brother.