The Hairy Ape Essay

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Worthington is a playwright and educator. In this essay she examines O'Neill's sense of alienation and despair as seen through the experience of Yank.

On the surface The Hairy Ape might seem to be a fairly political play. There is the marked contrast of the sweaty fireman whose brute strength propels the ship that provides diversion and pleasure to those privileged class denizens who inhabit the upper decks. There is obvious reference to exploitation of the workers. But The Hairy Ape, although laced with references to capitalism, socialism, and other concepts, is really about the existential condition of man, namely that humans rarely feel like they fit in, that they are essentially always alone and separate.

This play, which was a foray into expressionism for the playwright, presents a number of characters who are in essence only stick figures. There is Mildred, the precious princess who cannot face...

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This section contains 1,895 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Hairy Ape Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Hairy Ape from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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