Long Day's Journey into Night Historical Context

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Public Events

Events of moment from the outside world do not intrude on the Tyrone family dialogue. For example, there is no mention of the April, 1912, sinking of the Titanic, which took over fifteen hundred passengers to their watery death, and was the greatest maritime disaster of the age. Nor is mention made of Captain Robert Scott's ill-fated expedition to the South Pole, which ended in March, 1912, when Scott and the last survivors died in a heroic attempt to reach awaiting shelter and provisions.

O'Neill's focus, relentlessly on the Tyrone family problems, simply made unnecessary the need for allusions to such important topical events. They are conspicuous only by their absence, a fact that contributes to the play's claustrophobic impact. An awareness of the outside world is reflected not in events but in the social consciousness of the Tyrones. They have a sense of living on the margins...

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This section contains 1,231 words
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Buy the Long Day's Journey into Night Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Long Day's Journey into Night from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.