Most prominent in the book is the theme of addiction and drug abuse. The man of the family, James Tyron, is a worried man about his sons and wife. Mary, the wife is nursing morphine addiction as Edmund and Jamie struggle with alcohol addiction. In addition to these struggles, James has financial problems despite being a considerably wealthy man. All his wealth is tied up in assets. These tribulations befalling a man at the same time would make the strongest of men to crumble.
Further, Tyron’s family is in chaos with itself. Everyone has problems and no one is willing to take responsibilities for anyone’s muddle. Act II begins as Jamie and Edmund taunt each other over stealing their father’s liquor. The two sons steal their father’s wine and top it up with water so that their father does not realize. Jamie is suspicious over everything. Edmund has an involving task of supervising his mother not to resume abusing morphine despite his addiction. He cares for his mother and is worried about her condition despite himself. Edmund is reluctant to take a test to ascertain his health condition for the fear of traumatizing his mother. He suffers but perseveres it for his mother’s sake. He says: promise not to worry yourself sick and to take care of yourself (ONeill, 23).
O’Neill’s work is full of tension. James’s house is full of suspicion. In Act II, Edmund accuses his brother of being suspicious over everything. The characters in the play contribute to the dissonance. Jamie’s suspicion causes tension in the house. He complains that he had been put in the dark for 10 years about his mother’s addiction. He, therefore, trusts no one in the family. To him, everything that goes on is akin to a scheme.
Moreover, the two sons are not sure of their mother’s morphine addiction state. When Mary left the main bedroom to go sleep in a spare bedroom due to her husband’s snore, Edmund suspected she was up ...
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