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

***** play is a monument to O'Neill's vision of conflict between a m*****n and his own psyche, "between learning what life is really made of," ***** how ***** ordinary man ***** little prepared to learn (IMBD). It is a sordid, shattering *****, which brings the audience to a journey of fear, anger, humility, sadness and terror, experienced by a monster of an emperor whose only resort to s*****ity 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 into its I dark alleys and frank depths.

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

O'Neill expresses h***** objection to the tyranny of progress and industrialization and the tragedy it has brought upon human life in ***** ironic retrogression of progressive ***** be*****gs into unthinking, manipulated and helpless apes. Yank and his fellows are more than 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, ***** is terri*****rial, pigheaded ***** aggressive and O'Neill uses ***** characterization to present a most grotesque condition of modern man.

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

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