Long Day's Journey into Night

by Eugene O’Neill

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What dramatic device does O'Neill use to reveal the past in "Long Day's Journey into Night"?

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O'Neill reveals the past of all the Tyrones through a series of vocal confrontations between the various family members. This is especially true of the three men, and continues right throughout the play.  Tyrone accuses his sons of being idle, they blame him for his miserliness, and so on.Conversations that begin quite harmlessly generally descend into accusations and recriminations. The power of the past seems to have an unbreakable hold over the family and prevents them moving forward. The recurring melancholy sound of the foghorn also serves to symbolize the gloomy memories that hold the Tyrones fast.

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