Long Days Journey Into Night: Mary Tyrone's Personal Journey

Essay by Gabby123High School, 11th gradeA, March 2005

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The dependence of men upon Mary in Eugene O'Neil's Long Day's Journey into Night is shown in the very first scene and throughout the play. Therefore, Mary becomes the central character around whom the males in this play revolve. She emerges in the few moments of normalcy as the source of life for them, the quiet hub around which they move, happy in her presence. But the house and the people residing inside are only living an illusion, Mary worst of all. She retreats to the past and dreams about dreams that never were. She denies the sickness and addiction occurring in her household. Mary retreats deeper and deeper into a bearable illusion, having the fog envelop the truth that destroys her and her family.

The summer house seems to be truly a home, and the comforts it offers, though modest, are sufficient to the family's well-being. But the illusion of the home is an essential image, to establish for it is not what it seems.

Mary never considered the house to be of any comfort, "I've never felt it was my home. It was wrong from the start. Everything was done in the cheapest way" (O'Neill, 44). The room is shabby, poorly furnished, a temporary residence at best. It is like the cheap hotels of Tyrone's road tours, where Mary has waited alone, spending nights in idleness. Although Mary and the entire family try to hide this in the beginning of the play, the truth emerges, and we learn that they are trying, ever so desperately, to deny the real world, to fog it up. As Mary says, "[the fog] hides you from the world and the world from you" (98). Mary is under two devastating illusions. One, she denies the illness of her son, Edmund. She claims...