Critically examine Mary's obsession with her past in Long Day's Journey into Night.

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playsthething eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

aimal | Student

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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Long Day's Journey into Night

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