Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (MA)

Committee Chair

Broncano, Manuel


Long Day’s Journey into Night is Eugene O’Neill’s attempt to come to terms with the pain he suffered as a member of a family that battles with drugs, hostility, and a lack of understanding for each other. My thesis pairs the playwright, Eugene O’Neill, who valued the importance of an individual’s story, with the psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud, who created a discourse that studies human relationships and our basic instincts. My thesis begins by diagnosing the traumas the Tyrone family members have experienced, and then develops into a study of human emotions and behavior under conditions that threaten freedom and life. As Anne-Marie Sandler and Joan Schachter explain, the Freudian psychoanalysis enables “the patient to become aware of the wars in which their defenses distort their experience and limit their capacities” (10). My thesis argues that O’Neill brings to life characters with cycles of trauma that connect to Freud’s work on the human experience and civilization.