The Long Days Journey Into Night and Broken Communication

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The play Long Days Journey into Night creates a world in which communication has broken down. One of the great conflicts in the play is the characters’ uncanny inability to communicate despite their constant fighting. For instance, the men often fight amongst themselves over Mary’s addiction, but no one is willing to confront her directly. Instead, they allow her to lie to herself about her own addiction and about Edmund’s illness. Edmund and Jamie do not communicate well until the last act, when Jamie finally confesses his own jealousy of his brother and desire to see him fail.

Tyrone, likewise, can only criticize his sons, but his stubborn nature will not allow him to accept criticism. All the characters have bones to pick, but they have trouble doing so in a constructive fashion.

Most of the bones that need picking emerge in the past, which is remarkably alive for the Tyrones. Mary in particular cannot forget the past and all the dreams she once had of being a nun or a pianist.

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Tyrone too has always had high hopes for Jamie, who has been a continual disappointment. All the conflicts and the problems from the past cannot be forgotten, and, in fact, they seem doomed to be relived day after day. It is important to note that Long Day’s Journey into Night is not only a journey forward in time, but also a journey back into the past lives of all the characters, who continually dip back into their old lifestyles.

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The reader is with the realization that the family is not making progress towards betterment, but rather continually sliding into despair, as they remain bound to a past that they can neither forget nor forgive.

The play is all the more tragic because it leaves little hope for the future; indeed, the future for the Tyrones can only be seen as one long cycle of a repeated past bound in by alcohol and morphine. This play was awarded the Pulitzer Prize when it was first published and it has remained one of the most admired plays of the 20th century. Perhaps most importantly, it has achieved commercial success because nearly every family can see itself reflected in at least some parts of the play. The Tyrone family is not a unique family, and it is easy to identify with many of the conflicts and characters. The play has a unique appeal to both the individual audience member and to scholars of American drama, which explains its npopularity and enduring acclaim.

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The Long Days Journey Into Night and Broken Communication. (2022, Apr 20). Retrieved from

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