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

***** play is a monument to O'Neill's vision of conflict between a m*****n and his own psyche, "between learn*****g what life is really made of," and how ***** ordinary man is little prepared ***** learn (IMBD). It is a sordid, shattering *****, which brings the audience to a journey of fe*****r, anger, humility, sadness ***** 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 ***** f*****ancial 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.

***** dehumanization of man is the same subject ***** another *****, "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 or off ***** wh*****tles. He is no l*****ger required or expected to think independently: machines do the job f***** him. The human worker ***** instead relegated ***** the most menial and meanest "grunt work and physical labor" that has reverted man into ***** ape or Neanderthal state.

O'Neill expresses his objection to the tyranny of progress and ***** and the tragedy it has brought upon ***** life in the ironic retrogression of progressive human be*****gs ***** unthinking, manipulated and helpless apes. Yank and his fellows are more ***** 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 w*****h brute survival and a machine-like sense of belonging. Like an ape, Yank is terri*****rial, pigheaded and aggressive and O'Neill uses ***** characterization to present a most grotesque condition ***** modern *****.

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

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