Eugene O\'Neill

Eugene Gladstone OíNeillís life is reflected throughout his plays in order
to let out his true feelings. Eugene OíNeill was born in October on the 16,

1888. He was born in New York City, New York, in a hotel on forty-third and

Broadway. For the first seven years of his life, he traveled with his parents.

James OíNeill, his father, was among the top actors of his time and his
mother, Ellen Quinlan, did not work, she only followed James from stage to
stage. They traveled with the famous melodrama, The Count of Monte Cristo, which
his father acted in. Right from the start, OíNeill was growing up with plays
all around him (143). Eugeneís early education came from different Catholic
schools. From 1895-1900, he attended St. Aloysius Academy for boys in Riverdale,

New York, and from 1900-1902 he went to De La Salle Institute in New York. After
the De La Salle Institute, he attended a preparatory school, Betts Academy in

Stanford, Connecticut. From 1906-1907, he attended Princeton. After a year, he
was kicked out for breaking a window in a stationmasterís house. Throughout
these years of education his home life, or life on the road, wasnít very good.

According to George H. Jensen in the Dictionary of Literary Biography ,

Eugeneís home life was crucial to the plays that he wrote. Filled with guilt,
betrayal, and accusations, it is, sometimes hard to see and sometimes Castellari

2 very easy for us to see. Ellen Quinlan OíNeill felt betrayal when three
months after her marriage, James was accused by Nettie Walsh of being her
husband and the father of her child. Jamie, Ellenís firstborn, passed the
measles to Edmund, her second born, who died shortly afterward. Ellen became a
drug addict after a doctor gave her morphine while getting better after

Eugeneís birth. Later, she blamed her addiction on James, her husband. She
said that he was too miserly to pay for a good doctor (141-142). This is almost
the exact plot of the play Long Dayís Journey Into Night. Most of his entire
home life was developed into his plays. His feeling about his mother being a
drug addict were presented in the play Long Dayís Journey Into Night (156).

"His early years were profoundly affected by the pressures of his motherís
recurring mental illness and drug addiction and by his tempestuous relationship
with his father, a discordant family situation that he later drew upon when
writing Long Dayís Journey into Night" (Poupard 156). In the play, the
mother was a morphine addict, just as his mother was in real life. In life, her
addiction was because of the birth of her second son, Edmund, but she blames it
on her husband. In the play, the mother actually blames her morphine addiction
on her youngest son, Edmund. While Eugene was living at home, there were many
other things going wrong that showed up in Long Dayís Journey into Night. One
of the events was the relationship of his mother and father. Throughout his
life, they fought Castellari 3 continuously about her drug addiction. Another
was that Edmund was sick throughout the entire play. OíNeillís real brother

Edmund was sick since a young child and died of malaria. This entire play can
almost be considered an autobiography (146-147). Eugene OíNeillís Long

Dayís Journey into Night is intensely personal and directly autobiographical.

Written in an agonizing attempt to understand himself, and no doubt primarily
for his own sake, it is not only about himself, but about his father and his
mother as well. Because OíNeill was so essentially a dramatist,
self-examination and the attempt to lighten the burden of the past inevitably
took the form of a drama. (Krutch 158) Eugene Gladstone OíNeillís play Long

Dayís Journey into Night definitely portrays his feelings about his family. He
shows that he dislikes the relationship of his parents, but that he can not
blame it wholly on them. He also puts part of the blame on the drugs that make
his mother act the way she does and on the alcohol that makes his father act the
way that he does (158). Once OíNeill left home and was dismissed from

Princeton because of his grades, he had to work a few odd jobs so he didnít
have to live on the streets. In 1909 he met and married Kathleen Jenkins. His
father disapproved of the marriage, so he sent Eugene to Honduras to prospect
for gold. While he was Castellari 4 there he caught malaria, which caused him to
go back home. Kathleen then gave