Essay - Eugene O'neill's Play, 'The Emperor Jones (1921),' is the Horrifying...


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Eugene O'Neill's play, "The Emperor Jones (1921)," is the horrifying story of Rufus Jones, the monarch of a West Indi*****n *****land, presented in a single *****ct of eight scenes of violence and disturbing images. O'Neill's sense of tragedy comes out undiluted in this surreal and nightmarish study of Jones' character in a mighty struggle *****nd tension between black Christianity and ***** paganism (IMBD). Jones is an unforgettable ***** in his powerfulness and fatalness, made most evident by the support ***** language, sound ***** o*****r stage effects, such as the dreadful drumming sounds and the Emper*****'s hallucinations. T***** psychological drama delves into ***** nature of power, the inevitable pull ***** history and in the belief ***** the supernatural as *****se were experienced in the first two decades of the l*****t century.

***** play is a monument to O'Neill's vision of conflict between ***** man and his own psyche, "between learning what life is really made of," ***** how the ordinary man is little prepared ***** learn (IMBD). It is a sordid, shattering *****, which brings ***** audience to a journey of fear, anger, humility, sadness and terror, experienced by a monster of an emperor whose only resort to sanity was to humiliate and dehu*****ize those whom he governs in t***** pursuit of social, political and financial goals. O'Neill spells out his tragic message about human reality - the truth about ourselves - after a merciless probe in***** its I dark alleys and frank depths.

The dehumanization of man is the same subject ***** another play, "The Hairy Ape (1922)." Rather than improve on the human c*****dition, *****dustrialization has reduced the human worker into a mere machine, which can be manipulated or turned on ***** off by w*****tles. He is no l*****ger required or expected to think independently: machines do the job for him. The ***** worker is instead relegated to the most menial and meanest "grunt work and physical labor" that has reverted man ***** ***** ape or Neanderthal state.

***** expresses h***** objection to t*****e tyranny of progress and industrialization and the tragedy it has brought upon human life in ***** ironic retrogression of progressive ***** beings into unthinking, manipulated and helpless apes. Yank and his fellows are more ***** symbolic apes whose language is complex and to whom thought is difficult. O'Neill views modern man as "un-evolved," ignorant about class and concerned only with brute survival and a machine-like ***** ***** belonging. Like an ape, Yank is territorial, pigheaded and aggressive and O'Neill uses ***** characterization to present a most grotesque condition of modern *****.

Though ***** compelling primary need, the sense of belonging is not achieved in ***** play from an animal ***** a spiritual being. This frustration is presented by the character of Yank as ***** filthy and arrogant ship leader, who is later thrown out by the *****ndustrial Workers of the World ***** a "br*****inless *****." In h***** urge to belong somew*****ere, he sets a gorilla free from a zoo in order ***** befriend it but

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