The Different Types of Love in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night

1. Introduction

Eugene O’Neill’s play Long Day’s Journey Into Night is a drama about the love and hatred within a family. All four types of love, eros, storge, phileo, and agape can be found in the play. However, it is storge love that can be distinguished best of all.

2. Eros: Romantic Love

Eros is the most obvious type of love in the play. It is the love between Mary and Jamie. Mary is consumed by her love for Jamie and she lives for his attention. Jamie loves Mary, but he does not always show it in the way she wants. Their relationship is full of passion and conflict.

3. Storge: Family Love

Storge is the love between family members. It is the love that holds a family together, even when they are fighting. The Tyrones are a family that loves each other, but they also fight a lot. They have a lot of unresolved issues and they are not always able to communicate effectively. However, at the end of the play, they are able to come together and support each other.

4. Phileo: Friendship Love

Phileo is the love between friends. It is the kind of love that helps people get through tough times. Edmund and Cathleen have a phileo relationship. They are able to confide in each other and support each other through difficult times.

5. Agape: Unconditional Love

Agape is the kind of love that does not require anything in return. It is the kind of love that is selfless and giving. Tyrone shows agape love towards his wife Mary. He takes care of her even though she is sick and he does not always get anything in return.

6. Conclusion

All four types of love, eros, storge, phileo, and agape, can be found in O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night. However, it is storge love that can be distinguished best of all.

FAQ

The four types of love that O'Neill explores in the play are passionate love, selfless love, parental love, and platonic love.

These different types of love contribute to the overall story by shaping the characters' motivations and actions. Passionate love drives the characters to pursue their desires, selfless love motivates them to put others first, parental love compels them to protect their children, and platonic love allows them to form strong bonds with friends.

O'Neill's own experience with love informs his writing on the subject by giving him a deep understanding of the emotions involved. He is able to capture the intensity of passion, the sacrifice of selflessness, the protective instinct of parenting, and the companionship of platonic relationships.