Theatre / Long Day's Journey Into Night

Long Day's Journey Into Night is the story of a day in the life of a loving but dysfunctional Irish-American family as it is torn apart by addiction, resentment, and regret. It is also Eugene O'Neill's most autobiographical play, hence his insistence that it not be published until after his death. Winner of the 1957 Pulitzer Prize. Fredric March won a Tony Award for his performance in the original Broadway production.

A well-regarded film adaptation, directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Katharine Hepburn as Mary, was made in 1962.

This play provides examples of:

  • Author Avatar: O'Neill spent a great deal of his early adulthood at sea, battled with alcoholism and depression, and suffered from tuberculosis, just like Edmund.
  • The Disease That Shall Not Be Named: Literally. Edmund tries not to speak about his illness, as he believes it could be his mother's final breaking point.
  • Downer Ending: It is implied that the end scene has been and will be repeated many, many more times.
  • Dr. Feelgood: The doctor who first prescribed Mary Tyrone morphine, as well as the doctors who continue to do so while she's Off the Wagon.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The play takes place between morning and midnight on a single August day in 1912.