Long Day's Journey Into Night

Block 5
Trysten Evans, Morrease Leftwich, Jr., Nadirah McCray, Kelsey Sharpe


Character Depiction

(Kelsey S.)
Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 9.35.33 PM.png
Jamie Tyrone is the thirty-three year old son of Mary and James Tyrone as well as the brother of Edmund Tyrone. Jamie has brown eyes and thinning hair, with a nose like an eagle's beak. He has a reddish face with freckles, native to his Irish heritage. Jamie tends to be cynical and when he smiles he lights up the room with his humorous and romantic charm. Jamie can be rude to his parents as well as utterly spiteful to his brother, Edmund. He wastes his life away in bars and with prostitutes, while mooching off his father for money. His biggest strength is that deep down, despite his cynicism, he unconditionally loves his younger brother Edmund and wants the best for him. In contrast, Jamie tends to have his jealousy and spitefulness overcome him and it turns into a blast of negative energy towards his brother Edmund, despite his love for him. To demonstrate this:
Jamie to Edmund: "I've been a rotten bad influence. And worst of it is, I did it on purpose." (168)

Edmund Tyrone
Edmund is the youngest Tyrone who like the rest of his family is a drinker, but unlike the rest of his family, develops tuberculosis. One of Edmund’s strengths would be his good intent, and his attempts at maintaining some level of civil coexistence. Although his methods by which he goes about his attempts may be questionable, they are still done in hopes of keeping peace amongst his family. Edmunds biggest weakness is his tendency to take on his brother's habits. Edmund has always looked up to his older brother Jamie; as kids, Edmund joined the same sports and took on th same hobbies. As adults, Edmund has adopted the same cyicism, and melancholy outlook on life.
"You're all wrong to suspect anything."

(Nadirah M.)
Mary Tyrone is the mother of the family who ha recently returned back into the house. She is a woman described of being someone who had beauty, even at the age of 54. She was a very wary woman who was self- conscious of how the boys of her family (Tyrone, Jamie and Edmund) had watched her:
mary.jpg Mary: Why are you staring, Jamie?
Her hands flutter up to her hair.
Mary: Is my hair coming down? It's hard for me to do it up properly now. My eyes are getting so bad and I never can find my glasses.

Mary Turner is a protagonist in Long Day's Journey Into Night because her actions and decision to turn to drugs are what develops the plot by serving as the cause of the main conflict. Her every action reflects details in the story such as the guys' alertness and routine of sticking around their home in order to "keep watch" of Mary. The troubles that she faces with self are interconnected with what troubles the family had and so her decision to shoot affected how her family members acted.
Mary's strengths include the urge she got to express her opinions but her weakness was how fickle she had been in mood. At moments, she was upset and she would abruptly be staged as being detached.

(Morrease L., Jr.(I look better than you))

On the exterior, James Tyrone is a young looking, disgruntled man who’s cheap and drinks too much alcohol. In addition, throughout the play he gets into fights with his eldest son, Jamie. But on the inside, he’s as gushy as the sun is hot and from a young age, a great work ethic was instilled in him. James is the husband of Mary Tyrone, the main focus of the play.

"I understand I've been a god damned fool to believe in you!"

James’s major strength is his work ethic that he gained at a very young age. His greatest weakness is his rugged exterior personality; he constantly sporadically gets into fights with his family and this deters the family from making any progressive strides.

Significant Themes/ Concepts

(Kelsey S.)
Substance Abuse
Jamie: "Pours a drink. A waste! A wreck, a drunken hulk, done with and finished! He drinks."

James: "I understand that I've been a God-damned fool to believe in you!"

(Morrease L., Jr. (I look better than you))
Family Dysfunction
Mary: "It's you who should have more respect! Stop sneering at your father! I won't have it! You ought to be proud you're his son! He may have his faults. Who hasn't? But he's worked hard all his life. He made his way up from ignorance and poverty to the top of his profession! Everyone else admires him and you should be the last one to sneer – you, who, thanks to him, have never had to work hard in your life!"

(Nadirah M.)
Irresponsibility-- They believe that Shaughnessy will be to blame if Harker is upset with James Tyrone

Important Vocabulary

Act I (Nadirah M.)
  1. trifle (1)- noun; a thing of little importance
  2. lilt (2)- noun; a characteristic rising and falling of the voice when speak, a pleasant accent
  3. tonsure (4)- verb; to shave the hair on the crown of noun; part of head left bare on top by shaving off the hair
  4. glutton (3)- noun; an excessively greedy eater
  5. confab (4)- noun; an informal private conversation or discussion
  6. aquiline (9)- adjective; like an eagle (usu. relating to the nose)
  7. boodle (13)- noun; a great quantity of money, esp gained or spent illegally
  8. barrooms (22)- noun; rooms where alcoholic drinks are served over a counter
  9. knave (25)- noun; a dishonest or unscrupulous man
  10. sanatorium (27)- noun; a hospital for the treatment of chronic diseases or various nervous or mental disorders

Act II
(Morrease L., Jr. (I look better than you))
  1. Ebb (55)- decline -- typically gradually as with the height of the tide
  2. Deride (59)- laugh at or make fun of--while showing a lack of respect
  3. Flounder (61)- to have difficulty -- such as to not know what to do or to move awkwardly on unsure footing
  4. Comely (63)- attractive -- especially of a woman
  5. Garrulous (66)- talkative -- especially about trivial matte
  6. Placate (69)- calm someone who is or may become angry or concerned
  7. Avert (71)- prevent from happening
  8. Caustic (74)- of a chemical substance: corrosive; capable of destroying or eating away such as a strong acid
  9. Resumption (78)- beginning again
  10. Rebuke (90)- criticize severely; or such criticism

  1. simper (99)-to smile insincerely
  2. cess (100)-luck
  3. clout (101)-to hit something hard with a hand
  4. melancholy (106)-a sad mood
  5. maim (106)-to violently injure someone
  6. rapt -deeply engrossed or absored.
  7. rheumatism (119)-any disorder of the extremities or back,characterized by pain and stiffness.
  8. coquettishly (107)-characteristically flirtatious, especially in a teasing, lighthearted manner.
  9. convent (106)-a [[/browse/community|community]] of persons devoted to religious life under a superior.
  10. Cynicsm (99)- the minimizing of human virtue

Act IV (Kelsey S.)
  1. Pince-nez (127)- eyeglasses clipped to the nose by a spring
  2. Curtly (127)- rudely brief
  3. Sardonic (174)- grimly mocking or cynical
  4. Uncanny (173)- strange or mysterious, esp. in an unsettling way
  5. Averted (173)- prevent or ward off
  6. Pompons (173)- a small woolen ball attached to a garment
  7. Sanatorium (173)- infirmary, clinic, hospital
  8. Graft (168)- insert or fix permanently to something else
  9. Maudlin (166)- self-pityingly or tearfully sentimental, often through drunkenness
  10. Ebbing (165)- the movement of the tide out to the sea

Specific Scene Analysis

(Kelsey S.)
Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 8.19.10 AM.png Jamie returns home after a night spent at the barrooms and with a prostitute to find Edmund sitting in the living room alone. Jamie tells Edmund what he did all night, including the drinking and having sexual relations with the fat prostitute. This presents Edmund with an example and a role model to follow, being that Jamie is Edmund's older brother. This is significant to the story because it shows that Edmund's unfortunate health can be somewhat indirectly attributed to his portrayal of his lord brother who he wants to follow.

(Nadirah M.)
old naggy maid.jpg
A little humor is added in the scene portraying Cathleen as a useless worker who constantly talks back with remarks and does not take her position seriously due to the fact that it is only a job for a portion of the summer. When she first enters to gather the Tyrones for lunch, she discovers that James Tyrone is out speaking while she speaks on behalf of Bridget's anger since he cause the push back of meal time. After adding input, Cathleen is sent to fetch Tyrone and they hear yelling to him from the porch and Edmund annoyed, says "God, what a wench".

bourbon.pngEdmund and Jamie are both in the living room and it is obvious that Edmund has made himself a glass to drink with complete disregard to his doctors orders not to. It is only noon and the two are considering glasses of bonded bourbon. This scene is our introduction into their drinking problems. Not only does it express the family's alcoholism, it also better depicts the brothers closeness considering Jamie covers for Edmund although he knows its bad for his sickness. Jamie, instead of choosing to let Edmund be reprimanded by their father, chooses to fill the bottle back up with ice water as a cover for his brother.

(Morrease L., Jr. (I look better than you))
dope.jpgIt is time for lunch and Edmund and Jamie await their mother and father's arrival to the living room. As they await, they laugh at their own alcoholism while chugging down a glass. They begin to wonder what their mother is doing and Jamie poses that she's "probably doping". She comes downstairs as Jamie spoke and begins to complain about Jamie staying in the past and not realizing that she's changed--all the while---she was high. When James appears, he begins to complain about her doping and she counters with an attack on his alcoholism.

Here, the family dysfunction is completely evident as there is no trust within the family. Also, instead of helping each other in their troubles, they mock them and use them as a way to deflect criticism.

Quote Analysis

(Kelsey S.) P.174:
Mary: "The knuckles are all swollen. They're so ugly. I'll have to go to the infirmary and show Sister Martha."
Here, Mary is clearly under the influence of the morphine she takes and has become addicted too. According to the family she is a "dope fiend." Mary is talking about her past in the convent before she met Tyrone and comparing her swollen knuckles and unhappiness now to her past self where she instigates that she would rather be.

(Nadirah M.)
Mary: "Oh, we realize why you like him James! Because he's cheap! But please don't try to tell me! I know all about Doctor Hardy. Heaven knows I ought to after all these years. He's an ignorant fool! There should be a law to keep men like him from practicing. He hasn't the slightest idea-- when you're in agony and half insane, he sits and holds your hand and delivers sermons on will power! ... And yet it was exactly the same type of cheap quack who first gave you the medicine-- and you never knew what it was until too late."
At this point in the play, Mary blames Doctor Hardy for her nervousness and previous miscarriage. Here, she is going on about how she distrusts his calls-- especially of Edmund having consumption-- because of the cost of his services. Mary, along with her eldest son, Jamie, are against Hardy's services in such a serious case since his capabilities are only worth what prices he asks for. (cheap rates= low quality service)

(Trysten E.)

Jamie: "You never knew what was really wrong until you were in prep school. Papa and I kept it from you. But I was wise ten years or more before we had to tell you. I know the game backwards..."
This quote is one of the many that doesn't break down the tough Jamie exterior, but instead, explains the tough Jamie exterior. He is depicted to be this careless, cynical, character who lacks hope in the human race, but in this scene, best characterized by this line, we can see that is not entirely the case. Jamie cares a lot, obviously enough to shield his brother from some of the harsh realities of the world at such a young age - the way he was. This quote also explains that his exposure to his mother's addiction at such a young age, has mostly everything to do with why he is the way he is today.

(Morrease L., Jr. (I look better than you))

James: "You were a fool to believe her!"
This quote came to be after Mary, James's wife, lied to Edmund by saying she hadn't been doping. This quote just wraps up the overarching theme of familial distrust. Instead of aiding Mary in her troubles, James teaches his son, Edmund, not to believe his mother--further--that he's a fool for doing so. James obviously has no interest in bandaging the family's problems since he is teaching his son to follow the family's problematic way, not trusting each other.

Issues of Social Concern

Societal Issues
(Morrease L., Jr. (I look better than you))
Familial Cohesiveness
Family cohesiveness--or lack thereof--is the focal point of the entire play. Drug addiction, including alcohol, may be on the exterior, the central theme. But, when one analyzes the play deeper, it is obvious that it is the Tyrone family cohesiveness. In contemporary families too, this is a problematic issue. Just think, how many times per day do you think families congregate in their living room just to talk about their possibly mundane lives? Not because of an issue that has arisen, but just because they are a family and should. Families that practice this has become a minority in American society for people are more interested in the world that is not directly in front of them and they catch sight of this world using modern technology like smart phones and the internet.Yes, the Tyrones have lost family cohesiveness because of other factors like alcohol and drugs, but just like many American households, cohesiveness is lost nonetheless.

Drug Addiction (Kelsey S.)
The issue of drug addiction is present within Mary Tyrone's continued usage of morphine, an addictive drug used generally to relieve pain. This portrayal of drug addiction can make society at the time aware of the dangers of such a drug and how it impacted Mary's associations with her family as well as her family's associations with one another because of her addiction. Outsiders may see America as a land of dysfunction and no self-control because of the quarrels within the family because of Mary's inability to control her desire for morphine. This addiction became an issue when Mary's husband and sons experience negatively affected relationships with one another because she couldn't control herself. With Mary's continued drug abuse, the family becomes more cautious around her and each other.

(Nadirah M.)
Struggle with Vanity
A struggle with vanity causes conflict for individuals as they don't want to appear careless nor conceited. This issue affects society by shifting focus to maintaining image of well- being in the eyes of one another. In society, vanity is mostly viewed as negative and so its effect on society would cause a reaction of retreat. In society vanity is viewed as spiteful even in places of population such as churches and working environments.An issue of social concern in the play was enacted when both Jamie and Tyrone's interactions with neighbors were described in the text mentioned that Jamie was usually wary of neighbors. Because he didn't like it when they spoke, Jamie did his best in trying to avoid the gossip which is incorporated an issue relevant to the American identity. Americans are mostly viewed as citizens of a nation built on vanity because there is always competition to either impress everyone else or to "earn" a certain image by society.

(Trysten E.)
Fleeting Faith
An abandoning of hope, and faith in expressed I a number of ways throughout the play. We first experience this theme as the Tyrone men struggle to trust Mary Tyrone on her own. Known for relapsing and going back on her word, Mary Tyrone is kept under a watchful regardless of her oath not to return to the use of morphine. As much as they would all love to, James, Jamie, and Edmund all struggle to maintain faith that their mother and spouse's word is honorable. A test of faith is expressed once again during a brief discussion about God. James Tyrone claims his faith is still in pristine condition, and his two son's, argue there is no reason for faith. This melancholy outlook on life and expresses what might have been a lack of faith in the real world. With new discoveries, advancements in society and post modern philosophies developing, it would make sense why this play focuses on a dysfunctional, cynical family that drinks to mask their own personal problems