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. ***** sense ***** tragedy comes out undiluted in this surreal and nightmarish study of Jones' character in a mighty struggle *****nd tension between black Christianity and black paganism (IMBD). Jones is an unforgettable character in his powerfulness *****d fatalness, made most evident by the support of language, sound and o*****r stage effects, such as the dreadful drumming sounds and the Emper*****'s hallucinations. T***** psychological drama delves into the nature of power, ***** inevitable pull of history and in the belief in the supernatural ***** *****se were experienced in the first two decades of the last century.

The play is a monument to O'Neill's vision of conflict between ***** 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 the audience to a journey of fear, anger, humility, sadness ***** terror, experienced by a monster ***** an emperor whose only resort to sanity was to humiliate and dehu*****ize those whom he governs in the pursuit of social, political ***** f*****ancial goals. O'Neill spells out h***** tragic message about *****uman reality - the truth about ourselves - after a merciless probe in***** its I dark alleys and frank depths.

***** dehumanization 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 into a mere machine, which can be manipulated or turned on ***** off by whistles. He is no l*****ger required or expected to think independently: machines do the job f***** him. The human worker is instead relegated ***** the most menial and meanest "grunt work and physical labor" that has reverted man ***** ***** ape or Neanderthal state.

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

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

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