Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Occasional Series of Ideas for Papers on John Kennedy Toole, Part 19

Thesis #19: Toole and Eugene O'Neill

In the Tulane University student magazine Carnival (no. 9, 1956) Toole discussed the fact that Yale published O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey into Night," which he described as "a brilliant autobiographical play." The play describes the disintegration of family fortunes. "The miserly actor-father, the dissipated older brother, the vague and mercurial mother [...]" Toole stated that if it were not based on facts, it would be too melodramatic. He concludes that in the end there is "some sort of redemption for the family in general." (pp. 13-14)

Thesis: Discuss similarities and differences between O'Neill's play and Confederacy of Dunces. Does Confederacy have the same relationship to Toole's biography that "Long Day's Journey" has to O'Neill's biography?