Long Day's Journey Into Night

Jamie Tyrone: The Foghorn Personified 12th Grade

It is often said that mother knows best, and depending on who one's mother is, this may or may not hold true. However, in the case of Jamie Tyrone, his mother certainly has a clear grasp of his situation, and shows it through the strikingly accurate portrait she paints of him: "...he's always sneering at someone else, always looking for the worst weakness in everyone. But I suppose life has made him like that, and he can't help it," (O'Neill 63). As A Long Day's Journey Into Night advances, Jamie's mother shows an obvious understanding regarding the failures of her and her husband as parents, as well as the subsequent failures of Jamie's youth that resulted. These scars still deeply pain him, yet at the same time have given him his grounded view of the present, setting him up for the unique role in all of the Tyrones' lives that only he is fit to play.

Very early on in the play, it is made quite clear to the reader that Jamie's childhood was neither stable nor happy. Much of this stems from his miserly father, who, despite being an enormously wealthy actor, has an idea of money, or rather of stinginess, ingrained in him that is not unlike that of his poor Irish forefathers. He never had the desire, or, for that matter, saw the...

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