Analysis of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day’s Journey into Night Essay

Analysis of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day’s Journey into Night Essay

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In the early 20th century, America was moving up socially and economically because of the advancing technology. The standard of living was vastly improving, and people lived a much better condition; however, women were still trapped in the world of patriarchy during this time period. Patriarchy is a social system that “privileges men by promoting traditional gender roles” which casts men as “rational, strong, protective, and decisive” while woman as “emotional (irrational), weak, nurturing, and submissive” (Tyson 85). Because of such system, women are indoctrinated into the mentality that they are inferior to men. In the play, Long Day’s Journey into Night, Eugene O’Neill portrays Mary Tyrone, the female protagonist, was being oppressed socially and psychologically by her family. Her husband, James, and two sons, Jamie and Edmund, attempt to support her and keep her stable. However, their remedies not only backfire against them but causing her to become more unstable.
The play takes place on August 1912; it is a peaceful time before World War I. The time period reflects a time of prosperity for United State as Edmund says that Harker was “no slave Standard Oil could trample on” referring to the fast growing period of the industrial titans such as John D. Rockefeller (O'Neill 24). Everyone is overjoy with the economy and many would have a stable job. However, women had neither a good standing in socioeconomics nor had the right to vote; thus, they did not have a voice in the political arena. During that time, women were considered possessions of their husbands; for example, if the wife had some objects stolen, the husband would be labeled as victim of crime (Gender). When the girl marries into a family, she is part of that family...


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...elf to the patriarchal society of the early 20th century. The only person that could save Mary from her own self-delusion is Mary herself; and she must overcomes the tendency to use morphine as an outlet in order to become at peace with herself and her family.



Works Cited

Cahn, Susan. Patriarchal Ideology and the Rise of Capitalism. 21 April 2013. Web. 13 November 2013.
Clive, Emsley, Hitchcock Tim and Shoemaker Robert. Gender in the Proceedings. April 2013. Web. 12 November 2013.
Mandl, Bette. "Wrestling with the Angel in the House: Mary Tyrone's Long Journey." Eugene O'Neill Newsletter 12.3 (Winter 1988): 19-24. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Thomas J. Schoenberg and Lawrence J. Trudeau. Vol. 225. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Literature Resource Center. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
O'Neill, Eugene. Long Day's Journey into Night. Yale University, 1987. Print.

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