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Long day's journey into night - Essay Example

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The play “Long day’s journey into night” by Eugene O’Neill is set in the 1920(s) (O’Neill & King, 5).It tells the story of a family of Tyrone and Mary. They have two sons, James and Edmund. This family is in many problems, starting from Mary’s morphine addiction to…
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The play “Long day’s journey into night” by Eugene O’Neill is set in the 1920(s) (O’Neill & King, 5).It tells the story of a family of Tyrone and Mary. They have two sons, James and Edmund. This family is in many problems, starting from Mary’s morphine addiction to the consumption of Edmund. James too is a drunkard that has no achievements in anything because of alcohol. Tyrone too is in trouble with the vast estate that he is about to lose in a land tussle (O’Neill & King, 12). The play discusses various themes. They include alcoholism and drug abuse, forgiveness, communication breakdown, religion and isolation. The writer depicts a family that is in jeopardy in all spheres and only has themselves to blame for the problems they are facing.
The play, however, does not cover well the theme of gender. The writer has not used the characters effectively to cover this theme. It presents a family of three men and one woman who is the mother of the family. The play did not do well in including one woman in the play. It makes Mary oblivious of most of the things that happen in the family. When she comes home from the hospital, Tyrone receives her at the door with an embrace. Mary hears a cough from the other room, and she concludes that Edmund is having mere cold (O’Neill &King, 15). Tyrone nods in agreement with her conclusion but the actual problem is Tuberculosis. The other members of the family deny Mary access to information about the health of her son. Therefore, the writer has failed in the gender balance in the whole play.
The play also fails in addressing the space for women in the characters. In act three, Mary and Cathleen come from the store, where they went to purchase morphine. They come home, and Mary is lonely because there is no company. She even stops Cathleen from going to prepare dinner because she does not want to be alone (O’Neill &King, 112). Mary also goes to get her drugs without the knowledge of the rest of the family. This is because the society views women as a group that should not find themselves in Mary’s condition. The boys on the other hand are alcoholics; they take alcohol and go home drunk just like James.
This society denies the women the chance to make mistakes that happen but it is comfortable if men make the same mistakes. The issue of gender roles also is not addressed in a manner that presents the contemporary world. In the play, Cathleen prepares the meals of the family. This character eliminates the men from such roles, and this contradicts the actual situation in the current world. The writer also uses the character of Tyrone as a man who neglects his responsibility; he insinuates that Edmund is just having a normal cough while the actual sense is that he does not want to spend money in the treatment of his son. He also takes his wife to an ordinary hospital while in the real sense he is a wealthy man (O’Neill & King, 115). The play also presents the two sons as people who have failed in their roles to control their father’s property because they have been consumed by alcohol.
In conclusion, the play has not done well in terms of addressing gender issues. It has not given women the space they have in the contemporary world. They should relate the past to the present. The woman should not be burdened by the past in the present just because she is a woman. There should also be equality in the space for women. Otherwise, the play has performed well generally in addressing the themes mentioned earlier.
Work Cited
ONeill, Eugene, and W D. King. Long Days Journey into Night. , 2014. Internet resource. Read More
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