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Long Day's Journey into Night

Eugene O'Neill

Characters

Summary

Act I, Part One

James Tyrone  -  The husband of Mary and the father of Jamie and Edmund, he was once a famous actor who toured the U.S. with his wife. Because his Irish father abandoned him at age 10, forcing him to work immediately to support himself, he has a strong work ethic and an appreciation for money that leads to strong financial prudence--bordering on stinginess.
Mary Tyrone -  The wife of Tyrone and mother of Jamie and Edmund, she struggles from a morphine addiction that has lasted over two decades. While she has broken the addiction several times, she always resumes her morphine use after spending more time with her family. She is on morphine in each scene of the play, and her use increases steadily as the day wears on. Although she loves Tyrone, she oftentimes regrets marrying him because of the dreams she had to sacrifice of becoming a nun or a concert pianist.
Jamie Tyrone  -  The elder Tyrone son, he is in his early thirties. Because he squanders money on booze and women, he has to rely on his parents for support. He dropped out of several colleges and has very little ambition, much to the dismay of his parents.
Edmund Tyrone -  The younger Tyrone son, he is ten years younger than Jamie. An intellectual and romantic dreamer, he learns during the play that he is afflicted with consumption (tuberculosis), which means that he will have to spend up to a year in a sanatorium. Like his brother and father, he is partially alcoholic, and he has a tendency to squander money, although he works harder than Jamie. Mary always holds out hope that he will become a success one day.
Cathleen -  The Tyrone family maid. She appears in the play only briefly. She is flirtatious and, by Act III, drunk.

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