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