Jamie Tyrone Quotes in Long Day’s Journey into Night
You’re a fine lunkhead! Haven’t you any sense? The one thing to avoid is saying anything that would get her more upset over Edmund.
Shrugging his shoulders.
All right. Have it your way. I think it’s the wrong idea to let Mama go on kidding herself. It will only make the shock worse when she has to face it. Anyway, you can see she’s deliberately fooling herself with that summer cold talk. She knows better.
You’ve been the worst influence for him. He grew up admiring you as a hero! A fine example you set him! If you ever gave him advice except in the ways of rottenness, I’ve never heard of it! You made him old before his time, pumping him full of what you consider worldly wisdom, when he was too young to see that your mind was so poisoned by your own failure in life, you wanted to believe every man was a knave with his soul for sale, and every woman who wasn’t a whore was a fool!
Yes, this time you can see how strong and sure of herself she is. She’s a different woman entirely from the other times. She has control of her nerves—or she had until Edmund got sick. Now you can feel her growing tense and frightened underneath. I wish to God we could keep the truth from her, but we can’t if he has to be sent to a sanatorium. What makes it worse is her father died of consumption. She worshiped him and she’s never forgotten. Yes, it will be hard for her. But she can do it! She has the will power now! We must help her, Jamie, in every way we can!
Because he’s always sneering at someone else, always looking for the worst weakness in everyone.
Then with a strange, abrupt change to a detached, impersonal tone.
But I suppose life has made him like that, and he can’t help it. None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.
Oh, I’m so sick and tired of pretending this is a home! You won’t help me! You won’t put yourself out the least bit! You don’t know how to act in a home! You don’t really want one! You never have wanted one—never since the day we were married! You should have remained a bachelor and lived in second-rate hotels and entertained your friends in barrooms!
She adds strangely, as if she were now talking aloud to herself rather than to Tyrone.
Then nothing would ever have happened.
They stare at her. Tyrone knows now. He suddenly looks a tired, bitterly sad old man.
You’re to blame, James. How could you let him? Do you want to kill him? Don’t you remember my father? He wouldn’t stop after he was stricken. He said doctors were fools! He thought, like you, that whiskey is a good tonic!
A look of terror comes into her eyes and she stammers.
But, of course, there’s no comparison at all. I don’t know why I—Forgive me for scolding you, James. One small drink won’t hurt Edmund. It might be good for him, if it gives him an appetite.
The family are returning from lunch as the curtain rises. Mary is the first to enter from the back parlor. Her husband follows. He is not with her as he was in the similar entrance after breakfast at the opening of Act One. He avoids touching her or looking at her. There is condemnation in his face, mingled now with the beginning of an old weary, helpless resignation. Jamie and Edmund follow their father. Jamie’s face is hard with defensive cynicism. Edmund tries to copy this defense but without success. He plainly shows he is heartsick as well as physically ill.
You ought to be kicked out in the gutter! But if I did it, you know damned well who’d weep and plead for you, and excuse you and complain till I let you come back.
A spasm of pain crosses his face.
Christ, don’t I know that? No pity? I have all the pity in the world for her. I understand what a hard game to beat she’s up against— which is more than you ever have! My lingo didn’t mean I had no feeling. I was merely putting bluntly what we all know, and have to live with now, again.
The cures are no damned good except for a while. The truth is there is no cure and we’ve been saps to hope—
They never come back!
I suppose it’s because I feel so damned sunk. Because this time Mama had me fooled. I really believed she had it licked. She thinks I always believe the worst, but this time I believed the best.
His voice flutters.
I suppose I can’t forgive her—yet. It meant so much. I’d begun to hope, if she’d beaten the game, I could, too.
He begins to sob, and the horrible part of his weeping is that it appears sober, not the maudlin tears of drunkenness.
Did it on purpose to make a bum of you. Or part of me did. A big part. That part that’s been dead so long. That hates life. My putting you wise so you’d learn from my mistakes. Believed that myself at times, but it’s a fake. Made my mistakes look good. Made getting drunk romantic. Made whores fascinating vampires instead of poor, stupid, diseased slobs they really are. Made fun of work as sucker’s game. Never wanted you succeed and make me look even worse by comparison. Wanted you to fail. Always jealous of you. Mama’s baby, Papa’s pet!
He stares at Edmund with increasing enmity.
And it was your being born that started Mama on dope. I know that’s not your fault, but all the same, God damn you, I can’t help hating your guts — !