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Mary's obsession with her past is very much a function of her denial of the present. By living in the past, she is able to ignore the problems of the present: Edmund's illness, Tyrone's frugality, all three men's alcohol abuse, and her own morphine addiction.
Another aspect of Mary's obsession with her past is that it represents a time of innocence: a time when she she was contemplating a life in the convent, when she played the piano beautifully, when she was beautiful. But, then she married Tyrone and a series of events followed that slowly removed her innocence. She carries with her the guilt of Eugene's death, along with the conflicted she has over the birth of Edmond.
in addition of the above answer, although, she escaped from the present circumstances as described in the above answer, in her past before marriage life. she ruined her present , in forgetting her present , and living in past , she becomes the victim of lonliness.
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