Long Day`s Journey into thePast:
The character analysis of Mary
In the play ¡°Long Day¡¯s Journey into Night,¡± by Eugene O¡¯Neill, the writer depicts a typical day of the Tyrone family, whose once-close family has deteriorated over the years for a number of reasons: Mary¡¯s drug addiction, Tyrone Jamie and Edmund¡¯s alcoholism, Tyrone¡¯s stinginess, and the sons` pessimistic attitude toward future. In the play, all of the four characters are miserable about life, and they all remember the past and try to escape from reality by drinking alcohol or taking drugs. Among these four characters, Mary is a typical and special one; she is the most tragic character in the play. She used to be an innocent girl with beautiful dreams (to become a nun and a pianist) and a strong religious faith centered on the Virgin Mary. However, her marriage destroyed her dreams and weakened her faith. Her husband Tyrone fails to realize the promises he made to Mary, which makes her lose her faith in the marriage. The morphine addiction drags her down and makes her unconscious about whether she lives in the past or present. The title of the play is a ¡°Long Day¡¯s Journey into Night¡±, but Mary, as she keeps taking morphine, travels mentally back to the past when she has fewer problems and happier life. Thus, for Mary, it is actually a long day¡¯s journey into the past. In Act One, there are three points that are important to the developing of the character of Mary. One is that she realizes her beauty is fading away, and she is in the stages of decline; another is that she refuses to admit that there is a health problem with her and her son Edmund. Finally, there is the issue of Mary¡¯s specific idea of what a ¡°home¡± is. At the beginning of the play, Tyrone and Jamie stare at Mary, and make her self-conscious (p27); they talk about her hair and remember the beautiful hair that Mary had when she was young. Mary realizes that she is getting old and she is very anxious about this,...
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