Main Article Content
Although much research has been written on the idea of substance abuse in the American theater, this paper presents a new perspective by discussing how the abuser can undergo an identity change. Drug and alcohol addiction is one of the salient themes of twentieth-century American theater. Playwrights like Eugene O’Neill depicted this social problem in their plays by drawing upon their own personal experience in substance abuse. The paper examines alcoholism and drug addiction in O’Neill’s Long Day's Journey into Night. It shows how addicts experience identity change during the course of their addiction. The main argument, in this paper, is based on some sociological research on alcoholism and identity change proposed by Tammy L. Anderson. Identity transformation of the addicts may result from the existence of various personal and environmental factors, which correlate to personal and social identity respectively. These factors will be used in relation to the characters of the play to show how addicts and alcoholics pass through several stages to reach their final identity change. Those characters, by immersing themselves in substance intake, cease to belong to ‘normals’ and in their search for a new identity they liaise with ‘deviants’ where they find affinity. When the curtain is drawn, the addicted characters have already embarked on their journey which will end, both literally and figuratively, in haziness and fog, a strong indication of their loss of sense of existence and self-awareness.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Abbotson, S.C.W., (2003). “Thematic Guide to Modern Drama”. [e-book] West port: Greenwood. https://books.google.iq [Accessed 22 September 2018]
Abdulsalm, H. B. (2020) “Demystifying the Other: A Study in Owen’s “Strange Meeting” and Hardy’s ‘The Man He Killed’”, Koya University Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 3(1), pp. 63-68. doi: https://doi.org/10.14500/kujhss.v3n1y2020.pp63-68
Anderson, T. L., (1993). “Types of Identity Transformation in Drug-Using and Recovery Careers”. Sociological Focus, [e-journal] 26 (2), pp.133-145. www.jstor.org/stable/20831653 [Accessed 27 July 2019].
Anderson, T. L., (1994). “Drug Abuse and Identity: Linking Micro and Macro Factors”. The Sociological Quarterly, [e-journal] 35 (1), pp. 159-174. www.jstor.org/stable/4121249 [Accessed 27 July 2019].
Anderson, T. L., (1998a). “A cultural-Identity Theory of Drug Abuse”. Sociology of Crime, Law, and Deviance, [e-journal] (1), pp.233-262. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/255604522_A_Cultural_Identity_Theory_of_Drug_Abuse [Accessed 27 July 2019].
Anderson, T. L., (1998b). “Drug Identity Change Processes, Race, And Gender. I. Explanations of Drug Misuse and A New Identity-Based Model”. Ethnicity and Substance Use, [e-journal] pp.1-10
Anderson, T. L., (1999). “Drug Identity Change Processes, Race, and Gender. III. Macrolevel Opportunity Concepts”. [e-journal] USA: University of Illinois. pp.1-89
Bloom, H. ed., (2009). “Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations: Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night”. New York: Infobase publishing.
Bogard, T., (1988). “Contour in Time: The Plays of Eugene O'Neill”. [e-book] New York: Oxford University Press. https://books.google.iq [Accessed 13 January 2020]
Campbell, T. M., (2013). “Alcoholism on The American Stage: Destigmatizing Socially Constructed Depictions of The Alcoholic Through Performance”. Southern Illinois University Carbondale. <https://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu>viewcontent> [Accessed 12 September 2018].
Eisen, Kurt, (2009). “The Spare Room: Long Day’s Journey into Night. In: H. Bloom, Ed., Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations: Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night”. New York: Infobase publishing. pp. 85-112.
Esser, N., (2008), “The Function of Drugs in Eugene O'Neill's ''Long Day's Journey into Night'' and Tennessee Williams' ''A Street Car Named Desire''. [e-book] s.l.: GRIN Publishing. https://www.amazon.com/function-O'Neills-Tennessee-Williams-Streetcar/dp/3638906116 [Accessed 26 May 2019]
Hinden, M., (1990). “The Pharmacology of Long Day's Journey into Night”. Penn State University Press, [e-journal] 14 (1/2), pp.47-51. https://www.jstor.org/stable/29784382 [Accessed 11 December 2019]
Katovich, M. A., (1987). “Identity, Time, and Situated Activity: An Interactions Analysis of Dyadic Transactions”. Wiley, [e-journal] 10 (2), pp.187-208. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/si.19184.108.40.206 [Accessed 23 August 2020]
Mann, Bruce J. (2009). “O’Neill’s “Presence” In Long Day’s Journey into Night. In: H. Bloom, Ed., Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations: Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night”. New York: Infobase publishing. pp. 7-18.
O'Neill, E., (1966). “Long Day's Journey into Night”. London: Jonathan Cape.
Watt, I., (1957). “The Rise of The Novel”. London: Random House.