Comparison of Eugene O'Neill's Long Days Journey Into Night - Essay Sample

Published: 2021-08-15
2000 words
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Vanderbilt University
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Works of art that involve bring about different impressions when they are watched and when they are read as narrated stories. The reader gets different images and ideas when reading a narrated work of art; however, on viewing the actions of the work of art, the reader will have a different perspective with regards to what he/she had earlier thought was the right impression. The aim of this paper is to provide a comparison between the impressions a reader gets while reading the last Act (IV) of Eugene O Neills Long Days Journey into Night and watching its film version on screen. Literally, before someone gets to read the play, he/she will have an impression that the play involves someone having a hard time while doing something longing for the end of the event to come along. The film view provides a clear insight of what the reader needs to get while the written aspect is only meant to provide a sense of direction to the reader so that when it comes to watching, they at least have a go-ahead towards understanding a certain piece of art.

Eugene ONeills Long Days Journey into Night Act (IV) involves various characters who have different personalities and characters to identify each other with. Everyone in the fictional and the real world has various distinct traits that identify him/herself with in relation to the way others view them. Watching the characters involved in this act doing several things in a certain manner has a certain impression on the viewer which is distinctively different from how a reader might have viewed the characters only after reading the act of the play. The characters involved in this act mainly are Tyrone, Edmund, Jamie, and Mary; all who have stories of their own when it comes to their personal experiences. Jamie and Edmund are brothers, Mary being their sister; Tyrone comes in as a family friend based on the fact that his parents and the parents of this other siblings were close before. As it occurs in this act, the two families involved have some form of disagreement between the children.

In a state of drunkenness, one is expected to be more lose and slippery in talking as this is the moment when one tends to talk without critically involving the cognitive function; this is not the case seen among Tyrone. Tyrone from a reading perspective seems to be a more cautious guy, like a master of his own words who cannot stand to be corrected by anyone, more so, a drunkard. Watching how Tyrone appears characteristically in a film view shows how he is totally a different person in the sense that he is shy, and the fact that he is shy makes him more defensive when he is being reproached or attacked by someone. Tyrone in his drunken state does not let Edmund advise him about how he has to run affairs and stuffs in his life, that he sees Edmund as a much more lesser being who cannot tell him anything based on how Edmund is used to drinking.

Edmunds approach towards Jamie when he tells him about how miserable his life is; this rather hurts Edmund mostly because it is coming from his brothers own mouth who by all means needs to be supporting him. Edmund sees Jamie as the most lose brother he has ever had, that he goes around paying for a fat whore who nobody else would want to have for a company. Jamie contemptuously accepts the idea about how his reproach towards life is, that he is ready to have someone who no else can, to save himself. Characteristically, judging about Edmund in this context one might presume him violent, dreaded, and defensive while Jamie might appear like an immoral person. Watching the act stipulated a different image about Jamie as a more caring person who was more concerned about what would happen to him next and what his family will have to suffer as a consequence of his action only that he did not have the courage to admit to his own sense of being. Edmund and Jamie are rather very close than one could have imagined from reading the play.

Mary who appears as an addict, sank into consuming morphine is a self-centered person who keeps her own problems to herself. She comes out as an individual who is lost in another world after using morphine, but one later comes to understand that she only does this so that she can keep away from facing her own problems and worries apparently after the loss of her parents.Stark (2015) gives an example of Mary as one of the people who consumed morphine which later had drastic effects on their lives. Too much consumption of morphine weakens the bodys systems from functioning normally, a situation that ought to leave an individual in a malnourished form. However, Mary appears to be very strong despite the excessive morphine consumption. When Mary is playing the piano, one might not think that she is doing that in a hallucinating state because of how well she brings out the rhythm from the piano keys. One, therefore, wonders how a person in a hallucinating state can rightfully play a song from a piano. Marys way of talking also fascinates because of whatever she says that Jamie, Tyrone, and Edmund cannot understand because of their drunkenness. Watching can, therefore, be viewed as fun because it does not involve a lot of the body engagement and one can imitate the actions of the actors, unlike in reading (Kubey &Csikszentmihalyi, 2013; Singer, 2014).

Seeing how Jamie handles his brother after the brother gives him a blow to the face is not how someone might expect one who has been offended to treat the one who has offended him/her. Jamie is ready to hold his brother in his arms and shed tears about how he has been envying him ever since Edmunds shed of tears also shows of how emotional a person who at one point was presumed violent can turn out to be. Jamies willingness which is unexpected tells of how blood is thicker than water after the reproach from his brother. The chat between Edmund and Jamie tends to be more of lively and emotional than one would have imagined while reading the latter from the written form of the play. Watching brings out many themes that are unlikely to be noticed just from reading the play (Butler-Kisber, 2010). The aspect of openness is one of the themes that could not be depicted from not only reading the play, but also from watching it while it was acted.

The setting of a play is indefinite for a piece of art in the sense that when a reader is reading a play, he/she tends to picture how the place where a play was acted looked like. The environment where the play is performed might be thought to be in a dark area without enough supply of light but this is not the case because the house is well-lit with people engaging each other in one way or another. A lot of imaginations are tied around when reading the play such that one cannot determine which is the actual form or setting where the play is taking place (Mar, Oatley, & Peterson, 2009). The physical attributes also vary from reading and looking at the play while one is reading and watching respectively. The voice and tone aspect is also indefinite when one reads a play but watching clearly brings out into light the various forms of tonal variation among other formal and informal forms of communication (Zuber, 2014). Reading needs to be done in a certain manner despite the numerous ways of reading for example extensive reading which is easily influenced by the environment (Grabe & Stoller, 2013).

After watching the act of the play, it can be said that one of the aims that the producer or writer had in mind while scripting Long Days Journey into Night is to create a course of maintaining peace among individuals despite their various personality traits. The title of the play might, therefore, be highlighted to depict of how much two close families might have to go about in order for them to be able to resolve their differences and have their lives back as it were before. The watching of the play creates a deeper and intimate understanding to the viewer about the writers intention while coming up with the play, unlike the reading which leaves the reader with a lot of questions about what the writer had in mind and how the characters behaviors might really be with regards to the play (Culpeper, 2014; Zhu, et al., 2015). Therefore, the watching of the play quenched the thirst of the reader on the writers intended meaning out of the play and the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive character traits of the characters in the play.

Eugenes piece of art helps a reader and a viewer to understand the various aspects of pieces of works of art. Art is meant to use images to give deeper and distinct meanings which cannot be easily predicted at sight but on a deep insight and consent. The families involved in this act have had differences which hopefully is soon almost coming to an end, it is just not clear how this will happen. Some pieces of art might be portended as literal not to inquire a lot of imaginations behind them. The producer or writer of a certain piece of art always highlights a lot of issues from only one piece of art which in many instances may or may not be obvious to a certain reader or viewer. Eugenes act (IV) of Long Days Journey into Night depicts issues to do with drugs, sibling rivalry, family issues, and life in general (McLean, 2010; Shafer, 2012; Wynstra, 2012).

Drugs have a way of affecting an individuals state of mind as it is seen among the characters mentioned and seen in the act; the drugs, therefore, have drastic effects which affect many starting from levels as low as an individual, to family, then society, and then the nation to a greater extent. Therefore, people have to be responsible to decide not to let themselves ruin their lives by selling out their lives to drugs such as morphine and alcohol (Stark, 2015). Family feuds exist and so do sibling rivalries, however, people need to understand that the fact that blood is thicker than water means that despite the indifference, there always is a certain way through which these issues can be settled not to involve any form of violence. Peace-keeping is, therefore, a primal necessity among individuals who might or might not be sharing the same blood.


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