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Quotes

Quote #4

CATHLEEN
I ought to go back in the kitchen. The damp is in Bridget's rheumatism and she's like a raging devil. She'll bite my head off. (3.1.10)

Unlike Cathleen, Bridget's never able to defend herself in person, on stage. Why feature Cathleen but not Bridget? Also, notice that Bridget, like Mary, has rheumatism. In Bridget's case, it seems normal that a fit of rheumatism would make her really upset. Why, then, doesn't anybody feel bad for Mary with her rheumatism? Nobody other than Mary ever mentions that the damp weather is exacerbating Mary's illness. It's easier to criticize Mary's lack of will power in returning to her morphine than it is to talk about possible causes.

Quote #5

MARY
I've never felt at home in the theater. Even though Mr. Tyrone has made me go with him on all his tours, I've had little to do with the people in his company, or with anyone on the stage. Not that I have anything against them. They have always been kind to me, and I to them. But I've never felt at home with them. Their life is not my life. (3.1.29)

Note the similarity here between this passage and Mary's comments about not feeling at home at their summer house. We get the feeling Mary might not do so well in any social environment that isn't a convent. It seems like she has real trouble making friends, even with people who are nice to her. Might her lonely suffering be as much her fault as James's?

Quote #6

MARY
We've loved each other ever since. And in all those thirty-six years, there has never been a breath of scandal about him. I mean, with any other woman. Never since he met me. That has made me very happy, Cathleen. It has made me forgive so many other things. (3.1.37)

It's interesting to note that Mary doesn't take for granted that she and her husband are monogamous. It's almost as if she has expected him to cheat on her, and commends him greatly for resisting the temptation.

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