Monday, June 23, 2008

A Long Day's Journey Into Night

I’d never read Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day's Journey into Night, which is quite autobiographical. This play shows a day in the life of a dysfunctional family at their summer home. O’Neill slowly reveals that Mary, the mother has a morphine habit, which she’s battled for years. She’s married to an actor, who loves Shakespeare and get rich quick schemes. Their two living sons are Jack, a reprobate who can’t hold a job or his liquor all that well, and Eugene who’s got TB. They argue and rant and hide their problems. Written before we became so conversant and familiar with addiction and psychology, the play was probably much more novel and powerful in 194 . As I read, I kept thinking how most people would address these problems with 12-step programs and counseling. I did enjoy the play, but times have changed and that affected how I connected with the characters more so than how I’d connect with say Hamlet or MacBeth.

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