A Long Day’s Journey Into Night, by Eugene O’Neill, is a deeply autobiographical play. His life was rampant with confusion and addictions in his family. Each character in this play has a profound resemblance, and draws parallels and connections with a member of his own family. The long journey that the title of the play refers to is a journey into his past. Fog is a recurring metaphor in the play; it is a physical presence even before it becomes a crucial symbol of the family’s impenetrable confusion. It is referred to in the text as well as stage directions in this play. It sets the mood for the play in all its somber hues.
He uses the fog outside the house as an atmospheric element that has an ominous presence throughout this play. His parents and the surroundings that he grew up in were tainted by broken dreams, lies, disease, past issues, alcoholism and drug addiction. There was this web of darkness and fogginess that encased his life and past that is portrayed in this play as well as others by O’Neill. The symbolic implications of fog in the play are descriptive of the struggle in the minds of this deeply conflicted family. The significance of fog in O’Neill’s writing can be examined in two forms. The first is what type of emblematic quality does the fog provide in this play, and the second is what are other plays in which O’Neill has used fog in a similar way.
This play takes place through an entire day where the climate mirrors the mood of the family. “ The play begins at 8:30 in the morning with a trace of fog in the air, and concludes sometime after midnight, with the house foghorn.” (Brustein 1020). The intensity of the fog continuously increases throughout the day, directly correlating to the murkiness in the household. The family’s mood significantly intensifies with the intensity of the fog. There are copious
connections between the life of the fog and that of the Tyrone family. All throughout the play there is a conflict between past vs. present, truth vs. lies, and addiction vs. sobriety. This family lives amidst a haze of denial and as the fog gets thicker, they continue to get further lost.
The fog has a polarity that directly relates to Mary, “… the mood changing from sunny cheer over Mary’s apparent recovery to gloomy despair over her new descent into hell ” (Brustein 1020). The fog is fi...
... middle of paper ...
...n clarities. The fog is created out of pain in order to dilute clarity. The individuals in this play needed to escape themselves but didn’t succeed. O’Neill expresses the same fear of truth and uses the imagery of fog in The Iceman Cometh. The Iceman Cometh is written in the same time period as Long Day’s Journey Into Night, and is a parallel in the struggle of the past vs. present. The use of the fog imagery is not as direct in this play, but there are subtle mentions of fog in the play, such as “ the gray subdued light of early morning in a narrow street” (O’Neill 660). This grayness is almost identical to the morning that the Tyrone family experiences after being awakened by the foghorns. Both stories spell the gloom and dreariness of these characters and their lives. The imagery of fog wasn’t as prominent in the rest of his plays.
O’Neill had a great amount of turmoil in his life and the Long Day’s Journey Into Night story reflected perfectly the fogginess and daze he lived through. His dark life experiences have given him a rich, emotionally charged place, from which to write. The fog serves as a tool to paint the dreary picture and symbolize this darkness through his plays.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 	In the play Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill, the Tyrone family is haunted not by what is present in flesh facing them, but by memories and constant reminders of what has been the downfall of the family for years. " No it can never be now. But it was once, before you-" (72) [James Tyrone referring to the Morphine addiction of his wife, Mary, which attributed to the undoing of the family]. Their trials and tribulations are well documented by O’Neill through the proficient utilization of theme, characterization, plot, setting, and style.... [tags: Long Day's Journey into Night]
775 words (2.2 pages)
- Symbolism is used throughout O¹Neill¹s Long Day¹s Journey into Night, a portrayal of the author¹s life. The three prominent symbols, the fog, the foghorn, and Mary¹s glasses, represent the characters¹ isolation from reality. The symbols in ³Long Day¹s Journey into Night² are used to substitute illusion for reality. Although Mary is the character directly associated with living in illusion, all characters in the play try to hide from the truth in their own ways. At the beginning of the second act, O'Neill notes a change in setting which has taken place since the play opened. No sunlight comes into the room now and there is a faint haziness in the air. This haziness or fog o... [tags: Long Day's Journey into Night]
659 words (1.9 pages)
- American Religion in Long Days Journey into Night The modernist sentiments throughout Long Days Journey into Night, by Eugene O'Neill, are apparent in many different ways. Among the methods he used was the portrayal of America's withdrawal from traditional religion and modes of behavior. He used his immigrant Irish family, the Tyrones, as a pedestal for this idea by highlighting their departure from traditional Irish beliefs and their struggle to form new, uniquely American, ones.... [tags: Long Day's Journey into Night]
873 words (2.5 pages)
- Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey into Night" As the fog descends around the Tyrone’s summer home, another fog falls on the family within. This fog is that of substance abuse, in which each of the four main characters of Eugene O’Neill’s play, Long Day’s Journey into Night face by the end of Act IV. Long Day's Journey into Night is a metaphoric representation of the path from normalcy to demise by showing the general effects of substance abuse on human psychology and family dysfunctions through the characters Mary, Jamie, Edmund and Tyrone.... [tags: Long Day's Journey into Night]
1728 words (4.9 pages)
- The Concept of Time in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night The pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus said in his theory of the Universal Flux that "everything flows and nothing abides; everything gives way and nothing stays fixed. You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters and yet others go ever flowing on... Time is a child moving counters in a game." (Allen 103) And so it is with the characters in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night. Time is little more than a game in which they move as checkers, if not pawns.... [tags: Long Day's Journey into Night]
1733 words (5 pages)
- Long Day's Journey into Night Eugene by O'Neill - Character Analysis of Mary In the play ¡°Long Day¡¯s Journey into Night,¡± by Eugene O¡¯Neill, the writer depicts a typical day of the Tyrone family, whose once-close family has deteriorated over the years for a number of reasons: Mary¡¯s drug addiction, Tyrone Jamie and Edmund¡¯s alcoholism, Tyrone¡¯s stinginess, and the sons` pessimistic attitude toward future. In the play, all of the four characters are miserable about life, and they all remember the past and try to escape from reality by drinking alcohol or taking drugs.... [tags: Long Day's Journey into Night]
1437 words (4.1 pages)
- Man’s Struggles of Fate by the Curse of Birth in Eugene O'Neill's A Long Day's Journey into Night Eugene O’Neill’s A Long Day’s Journey into Night deals with tragedy and its attendant focus on character rather than plot. Another emphasis on the play is on the past that ceases to haunt his characters. O’Neill’s characters of A Long Day’s Journey into Night struggle with the past. These characters all seem to agree with Mary Tyrone who claims that a person “can’t help being what the past made him” (Baym 1313).... [tags: A Long Day's Journey into Night Essays]
1475 words (4.2 pages)
- It happens more often than not- waking in the middle of the night. As I become conscious of my surroundings, I am filled with a sense of foreboding. The soft hisses and puffs escaping my loved ones lips while deep in the throes of sleep provide the only distraction from the all-encompassing silence. As I strain to hear the sounds of life surrounding me the ominous sensation of being alone, abandoned, is ignited within me. It feels as if my loved one have left and gone to somewhere that I am no longer welcomed and I must stay behind, long forgotten.... [tags: night,]
729 words (2.1 pages)
- ... While living under the same roof, between families’ members are what we say disrespect and misunderstanding. Ironically, the problem originates from their aim to earn more money to support their family. Heavy workload buys people less time to communicate with each other, leading to all those misunderstandings and in turn family quarrels. As a result, the aim to earn money turns out to be the cause of losing their family. Don’t you think it’s sarcastic too. For addiction, Mary struggles from a morphine addiction that lasts over two decades.... [tags: isolation, tyrone family, struggle]
603 words (1.7 pages)
- Twelfth Night: A Gender-Bending Journey Shakespeare enjoyed writing passionate plays about young lovers, but, after a while, the formula became exhausted and the Bard was forced to dig deeper, creatively speaking. Twelfth Night is an example of a Shakespearean love tale with a slight twist to keep things interesting. This play was the “Tootsie” of its time. Twelfth Night takes the audience on a gender-bending journey, while maintaining all the elements of true love throughout. At one point, Olivia wears a disguise in order to take on the traditionally male role of wooing her romantic interest, Cesario, who is also disguised.... [tags: Twelfth Night essays]
1573 words (4.5 pages)