It is August, 1912, at 8:30 in the morning at the Tyrone family summer home in Connecticut. The living room is furnished simply, and its most notable feature is the extensive bookshelf, adorned with volumes ranging from Balzac to Shakespeare. Having just finished breakfast, James Tyrone and his wife Mary enter. He is jovial while she is nervous; Mary has just finished treatment at a sanatorium for morphine addiction, which she has battled for decades. Tyrone is pleased at the weight Mary has put on and how well she looks--but he is suspicious that their sons (Jamie and Edmund) are still at the table, laughing at his expense. Mary, however, is concerned with Edmund’s health; when the sons enter, he is clearly not well and she fusses over him.
Tyrone, as he often does, begins to berate Jamie for being lazy and uninspired, but they turn their attention to Edmund’s story about the tenant farmer Shaughnessy, who won an argument against a local millionaire named Harker. Shaughnessy
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