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 *****, the monarch of a West Indian *****land, presented in a single *****ct of eight scenes of violence and disturbing images. ***** sense of tragedy comes out undiluted in this surreal ***** nightmarish study of Jones' character ***** a mighty struggle and tension between black Christianity and ***** paganism (IMBD). Jones is an unforgettable ***** in his powerfulness ***** fatalness, made most evident by the support of l*****guage, sound and o*****r stage effects, such as the dreadful drumming *****s and the Emperor's hallucinations. This psychological drama delves into ***** nature of power, the inevitable pull of history and in the belief in the supernatural ***** these were experienced in the first two decades of the last century.

The play is a monument to O'Neill's vision of conflict between a man and his own psyche, "between learn*****g what life is really ***** of," and how the ordinary man ***** 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 into its I dark alleys ***** frank depths.

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

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

Though a compelling prim*****ry need, the sense of belonging is not achieved in the ***** from an animal ***** a spiritu*****l being. T***** frustration ***** ***** by the character ***** Yank as ***** filthy and arrogant ship leader, who is later thr***** out by the Industrial Workers of the World as a "br*****inless *****." In his urge to belong somewhere, he sets a gorilla free from a zoo in order ***** befriend it but


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