AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 5, Number4. October 2021                                Pp.180-189

The Poetics of Female Resistance in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night

English Department
The College of Humanities and Sciences Al Kharej
The University of Sattam Ibnu Abdelaziz
Saudi Arabia


The present paper is an attempt to study the female quest for freedom in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night from a French feminist perspective. Indeed, Mary Tyrone resorts to body language as a form of resistance against gender and cultural confinement. French feminism will be deployed to understand female non-verbal subversive strategies. Luce Irigaray argues that language is male-dominated and male discourse misrepresents women. Accordingly, body language can be interpreted as a silent form of female resistance against patriarchal hegemony.  It is the case of Mary who is irritated because of the male gaze and she uses madness as a silent language of resistance against female and ethnic stereotypes. Mary is a rebellious woman who defies her three men for being indifferent about her dilemma of disillusionment with the institution of marriage. She is treated as a wife, a mother or a daughter and she is often assigned the role of ‘the Angel in the House.’ French feminism will be used to understand the way O’Neill reshapes female identity and he calls for not linking female identity to the social roles. The aim is to study the non-verbal communication, the behavioural, kinetic, gestural and psychological profile of Mary. The paper will also focus on the hardships Mary faces and the ways she reconstructs female identity.  The paper draws on the French feminist arguments about female madness as a form of resistance and it criticizes the conventional claim about madness as s form of weakness.

Cite as:

Olfa Gandouz, O. A.  (2021). The Poetics of Female Resistance in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 5 (4) 162-171.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol5no4.14


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Dr. Olfa Gandouz is currently an assistant professor at the College of Sciences and Humanities al Kharej, Saudi Arabia. She is a permanent assistant professor at the University of Monastir, Tunisia. She got her doctoral degree from the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences of Sousse, Tunisia on the topic of ‘Female Oscillation between Idealization and Debasement in Selected Plays of Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams’. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7271-3227