Strong Relations and Strained Families:

Essay by LMPreader1University, Bachelor'sA, November 2007

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Long Day's Journey Into Night, depicts the Tyrone family: a textbook family of dysfunction. More so than a standard family, they have painful hardships that they have to constantly endure. This story represents one small piece of their whole lives – one long day's journey into night. To begin with, Edmund Tyrone is critically ill, Jamie Tyrone is idle and worthless, James Tyrone is stingy and miserly, and to top it all off Mary Tyrone has an addiction to morphine. Each player in this work comes in conflict with the next and blames the other for all that is wrong, purely because they can't seem to face the fact that they have a highly dysfunctional family. This blaming only fuels the family’s isolation from one another, continually distorting their view of each other and therefore of family and home. Through an analysis of each character in Long Day’s Journey, I will demonstrate how each character’s isolation and alienation from each other is a result of their own histories and ensuing harmful behaviors, and I will also demonstrate their alienation from each other in terms of ‘home’ and family by the comparison of two poems to this text from Brenda Marie Osbey’s All Saints.

Juxtaposed to Long Day’s Journey, “Alberta (Factory Poem/ Variation 2),” a poem from Brenda Marie Osbey’s anthology All Saints, is through the perspective of a woman speaking about a family member, her dead grandmother. This poem is extremely personal, as if these two women were so close in life that though this separation is irrevocable, they are still connected somehow. The speaker says, “my grandmother alberta is dead./ … she no longer holds up at eye level/ her slightly yellowed middle finger/ sewn through the nail/ the smooth even split/ where the machine tore...