Long Day's Journey Into Night

what does mary tyrone represent?

what is her purpose in the play and why does O'Neill have her in the play.

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Wife of James Tyrone. Mother of Edmund and Jamie Tyrone. Mary is a morphine addict, and throughout the course of the day we watch as she sinks farther and farther into a morphine-induced fog. Her hands are nervous, and they reveal her constantly agitated state. She is in deep denial about Edmund's illness. As the play progresses, she retreats farther and farther into the past. She represents a sense of regret. She regrets. "She thinks often about the past, expressing regret that she did not become a nun or a concert pianist." She also regrets her never ending battle with her morphine addiction and the things that she might have done had she not been addicted.