Long Day’s Journey into Night

by

Eugene O’Neill

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One of the Tyrones’ housekeepers. O’Neill describes Cathleen as an “Irish peasant” in her “early twenties.” When the Tyrone men leave Mary home alone in the third act, she offers Cathleen drinks out of James’s whiskey bottle, getting the young woman drunk so that she has someone to talk to while she waits for her family to return.

Cathleen Quotes in Long Day’s Journey into Night

The Long Day’s Journey into Night quotes below are all either spoken by Cathleen or refer to Cathleen. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fatalism and Resignation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Yale edition of Long Day’s Journey into Night published in 1987.
Act One Quotes

MARY
Her hands fluttering.

It makes it so much harder, living in this atmosphere of constant suspicion, knowing everyone is spying on me, and none of you be­lieve in me, or trust me.

EDMUND
That’s crazy, Mama. We do trust you.

MARY
If there was only some place I could go to get away for a day, or even an afternoon, some woman friend I could talk to—not about anything serious, simply laugh and gossip and forget for a while—someone besides the servants—that stupid Cathleen!

Related Characters: Mary Tyrone, Edmund Tyrone, Cathleen
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:
Act Three Quotes

Dreamily.
It wasn’t the fog I minded, Cathleen. I really love fog.

[…]

It hides you from the world and the world from you. You feel that everything has changed, and nothing is what it seemed to be. No one can find or touch you anymore.

[…]

It’s the foghorn I hate. It won’t let you alone. It keeps reminding you, and warning you, and calling you back.

She smiles strangely.

But it can’t tonight.

Related Characters: Mary Tyrone (speaker), Cathleen
Related Symbols: The Fog
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:

You’re a sentimental fool. What is so wonderful about that first meeting between a silly romantic schoolgirl and a matinee idol? You were much happier before you knew he existed, in the Convent when you used to pray to the Blessed Virgin.

Longingly.

If I could only find the faith I lost, so I could pray again!

She pauses—then begins to recite the Hail Mary in a flat, empty tone.

“Hail, Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with Thee; blessed art Thou among women.”

Sneeringly.

You expect the Blessed Virgin to be fooled by a lying dope fiend re­citing words! You can’t hide from her!

She springs to her feet. Her hands fly up to pat her hair distractedly.

I must go upstairs. I haven’t taken enough. When you start again you never know exactly how much you need.

Related Characters: Mary Tyrone (speaker), James Tyrone, Cathleen
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:
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Long Day’s Journey into Night PDF

Cathleen Character Timeline in Long Day’s Journey into Night

The timeline below shows where the character Cathleen appears in Long Day’s Journey into Night. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act Two, Scene One
Denial, Blame, and Guilt Theme Icon
Around noon on the same day, Edmund is sitting alone in the parlor when Cathleen, one of the housekeepers, enters with a bottle of whiskey. After Edmund tells her to... (full context)
Act Three
Loneliness, Isolation, and Belonging Theme Icon
It is almost dinner, and Mary is spending time with Cathleen, whom she has given considerable amounts of whiskey because she wants someone to talk to.... (full context)
Loneliness, Isolation, and Belonging Theme Icon
Throughout their conversation, Cathleen rambles about random matters, but Mary doesn’t seem to notice. Instead, she focuses on voicing... (full context)
Denial, Blame, and Guilt Theme Icon
Loneliness, Isolation, and Belonging Theme Icon
The Past, Nostalgia, and Regret Theme Icon
Indulging her mistress, Cathleen accepts the drink and starts asking Mary questions. This encourages Mary to rehash her life... (full context)
Love and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The Past, Nostalgia, and Regret Theme Icon
Mary tells Cathleen a story about the first time she met James. At the time, he was a... (full context)
Fatalism and Resignation Theme Icon
Love and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The Past, Nostalgia, and Regret Theme Icon
After Mary finishes her story, Cathleen retreats to the kitchen. Lounging in a chair, Mary speaks to herself, criticizing herself for... (full context)
Denial, Blame, and Guilt Theme Icon
Love and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The Past, Nostalgia, and Regret Theme Icon
“Do you know what I was telling [Cathleen], dear?” Mary asks James. “About the night my father took me to your dressing room... (full context)