Peter O’Donnell was born in 1920 and sold his first story at the age of 16. Drunk with success, he sobered up when he failed to sell another for two
The action covers a fateful, heart-rending day from around 8:30 am to midnight, in August 1912 at the seaside Connecticut home of the Tyrones – the autobiographical representations of O’Neill himself, his older brother, and their parents at their home, Monte Cristo Cottage..
One theme of the play is addiction and the resulting dysfunction of the family. All three males are alcoholics and Mary is addicted to morphine. They all constantly conceal, blame, resent, regret, accuse and deny in an escalating cycle of conflict with occasional desperate and half-sincere attempts at affection, encouragement and consolation.