O'Neill and Family Through the Lens of Long Day's Journey into Night .
The family of Eugene O'Neill is what Long Day's Journey into Night is truly about. This touching play served O'Neill as a means to document, establish, embellish, and immortalize his pain, suffering, and trials within himself and his family. For the most part what O'Neill wrote was largely true, although there are some instances where something of a "poetic license- was taken in relating the facts. The basis of this play was not for monetary gain, fame, success or even notoriety, but for self-realization. O'Neill had a deep-felt need to relate and even expunge himself of so much of what was always on his mind.
Long Day's Journey into Night was written in 1939, while Eugene's last "formal- play that was produced was in 1934. (Gelb 3). This lends credence to the fact that Long Day's Journey into Night was indeed written for himself, as a necessity rather than as another production in his professional life. Another aspect of this play that bears great relevance to determining O'Neill's motivation and drive for it is a quote from O'Neill's wife "He explained to me that he had to write the play, he had to write it because it was a thing that haunted him and he had to forgive his family and himself."" Lastly, there is the fact that O'Neill had it put in his will that Long Day's Journey into Night was not to be released until three years after his death. All of this irrefutably demonstrating the fact that O'Neill's creation of Long Day's Journey into Night was an internal drive, an intrinsic need to chronicle the trials of his life and those around him. Throughout O'Neill's works there are !.
often thinly veiled references to members of his family, but none to pointed or open for fear of alienating his own family. The key event that finally broke the ice and leveled the playing field for O'Neill, as far was writing about family, was the death of Jamie, his brother (Gleb 534) Even so, Eugene still wanted Long Day's Journey into Night to be held for three years after his death before being made public for all to read.