Long Day's Journey into Night: Top Ten Quotes

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  1. [I]f you can't be good you can at least be careful." Act 1
    Jamie summarizes the advice he gave to his younger brother.
  2. "None of us can help the things life has done to us." Act 2, scene 1
    Mary tries to excuse her son Jamie for his faults, but her comment reveals her attitude to herself as well.
  3. "I hate doctors! They'll do anything-anything to keep you coming back to them. They'll sell their souls! What's worse, they'll sell yours, and you never know it till one day you find yourself in hell!" Act 2, scene 2
    Mary gives vent to her anger.
  4. "The past is the present, isn't it? It's the future, too." Act 2, scene 2
    Mary expresses her depressed vision of how people are slaves to what happened in the past.
  5. "If he's ever had a loftier dream than whores and whiskey, he's never shown it." Act 3
    Tyrone speaks about Jamie.
  6. "Everything looked and sounded unreal. Nothing was what it is. That's what I wanted-to be alone with myself in another world where truth is untrue and life can hide from itself." Act 4
    Edmund speaks of his feelings as he walked home in the fog.
  7. "I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky." Act 4
    Edmund tells his father about the ecstasy of some of his experiences at sea.
  8. "For a second you see-and seeing the secret are the secret. For a second there is meaning." Act 4
    Edmund talks about the meaning of his peak experiences at sea.
  9. "Happy roads is bunk. Weary roads is right. Get you nowhere fast. That's where I've got-nowhere. Where everyone lands in the end, even if more of the suckers won't admit it." Act 4
    Jamie finally confesses the truth about his own life.
  10. "The Mad Scene. Enter Ophelia!" Act 4
    Jamie's sardonic remark when his mother enters the room, apparently unaware of her surroundings.

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