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Long Day's Journey Into Night

Long Day's Journey Into Night

by Eugene O'Neill

Long Day's Journey Into Night Analysis

Literary Devices in Long Day's Journey Into Night

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Fog can represent a number of different things (estrangement, retreating into one's self, blindness) in Long Day's Journey, but generally, for all of the characters, fog is dark, isolating, and uns...

Setting

The Tyrones' summer house is probably based on O'Neill's childhood summer home in New London, Connecticut. The house itself is thematically important because it's the closest thing the characters h...

Narrator Point of View

This is a play without a narrator, and therefore has no particular narrative voice. It might be worth pointing out, though, that the audience seems to be intended to identify the most with Edmund....

Genre

This play is a stage drama focusing on the conflicts plaguing one family, the Tyrones. Even if no one dies at the end, the play is a tragedy: it documents the downfall of the House of Tyrone. In mo...

Tone

We can see from the dedicatory letter to his wife (see "What's Up with the Epigraph?") that O'Neill strives, in this play, to find "forgiveness for all the four haunted Tyrones." Any one of these f...

Writing Style

For the most part, the play is written in straightforward, realistic dialogue. The characters talk with the speech patterns of their day. O'Neill, however, doesn't seem to be satisfied with mimicki...

What's Up With the Title?

First of all, Long Day's Journey Into Night is literally that: a very long day that eventually fades into night. It's been happening since the Earth started to rotate, and it won't quit until the s...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

Some editions of the play include a letter from O'Neill to his wife as an epigraph. It's not "officially" an epigraph, since O'Neill didn't print it as such, but he did present it to his wife as a...

What's Up With the Ending?

The final moment of Long Day's Journey seems to highlight one of the major themes of the play – memory and the past. "Highlights" may not be a strong enough word. It seems to put the theme in...

Plot Analysis

The play opens in the living room after breakfast, and the first thing we hear is James insisting that Mary has gotten more plump and sassy again. James and Mary appear fairly content, and Jamie an...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Right at the beginning of the play, we can already sense that things aren't quite right. From the start, we hear James insisting that Mary has gotten plump and sassy again – so clearly she was ai...

Trivia

Long Day's Journey Into Night won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957, and O'Neill later won a Nobel Prize. In fact, O'Neill has the record for most Pulitzer Prizes (four) of any author. Edward Albee is sec...

Steaminess Rating

There's absolutely no on-stage sex or romance, but that doesn't mean sex isn't important to Long Day's Journey. Mary, for instance, seems to have been emotionally paralyzed by her loss of virginity...

Allusions

William Shakespeare (1.1.opening stage directions, 4.1.23, 4.1.59)Honoré de Balzac (1.1.opening stage directions)Émile Zola (1.1.opening stage directions)Stendhal (1.1.opening stage direc...

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