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Eugene O'Neill Writing Styles in The Hairy Ape

This Study Guide consists of approximately 70 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Hairy Ape.
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Style

Scene vs. Act

Unlike many traditional plays that utilize the act format, O'Neill designed The Hairy Ape to be broken up as eight scenes. An act is a demarcation of action in a play that is often comprised of several scenes. Scenes are typically shorter than acts and limited to one or two locations. By structuring his play's action around short episodic scenes, O'Neill is able to encompass a variety of settings that depict Yank's disassociation with both his peers and members of the upper class. The scene format also allows the action of the play to flow quicker, creating a tension that builds to Yank's death in scene 8.

Expressionism and Realism

The Hairy Ape is often categorized as expressionist theater. O'Neill's writing did not exclusively center on this style—in fact, only a handful of the playwright's work fits the definition of expression-istic theater. Dramatic expressionism is...

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This section contains 862 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Hairy Ape Study Guide
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The Hairy Ape from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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