One of the most lauded plays in the history of American theater, Long Day’s Journey Into Night is the masterpiece of Eugene O’Neill. It is O’Neill’s most autobiographical play, and was so deeply personal that the author requested it not be produced until twenty-five years after his death. Long Day’s Journey, despite its three- to four-hour running time, unfolds entirely in a single day in the life of the Tyrone family: starting in the morning, as the Tyrones gather for breakfast, and coming to a close late that evening. Over the course of the play, Edmund Tyrone finds out he has contracted consumption, a likely fatal disease, and his mother Mary lapses back into a morphine addiction. Edmund’s brother Jamie sinks into bitter alcohol-infused delirium, and their father James, a commercially successful Broadway actor, bemoans that fear of poverty prevented him from being the artist he could have been. All four Tyrones are haunted by their failures and their fears, which gradually overwhelm them.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night guide sections