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 island, presented in a single act of eight scenes of violence and disturbing images. O'Neill's sense of tragedy comes out undiluted in this surreal ***** nightmarish study of Jones' char*****er ***** a mighty struggle and tension between black Christianity and ***** paganism (IMBD). Jones is an unforgettable character in his powerfulness ***** fatalness, made most evident by the support of l*****guage, sound and other stage effects, such as the dreadful drumming sounds and the Emperor's hallucinations. T***** psychological drama delves into ***** nature of power, the inevitable pull of history and in the belief in the supernatural ***** *****se 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 ***** little prepared to learn (IMBD). It is a sordid, shattering tragedy, which brings the audience to a journey of fear, anger, humility, sadness and terror, experienced by a monster ***** an emperor whose only resort to sanity was to humiliate and dehumanize those whom he governs in the pursuit of social, political ***** financial goals. O'Neill spells out h***** tragic message about human reality - the truth about ourselves - after a merciless probe into its I dark alleys and frank depths.

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

***** expresses h***** objection to the tyranny of progress and ***** and the ***** it has brought upon ***** life in ***** ironic retrogression of progressive human **********gs in***** unth*****king, manipulated and helpless *****s. 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 ***** a machine-like ***** of belonging. Like an ape, Yank is territorial, pigheaded and aggressive and O'Neill uses ***** *****ization to present a most grotesque condition of modern *****.

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

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