Good Essay About The Emperor Jones: An Analysis
The thesis statement has been changed and new thesis statement describes the subject of this paper in an explicit manner. The paper is re-written with substantial changes. Some paragraphs from earlier paper have been completely changed in order to make it more focussed on the subject. I have tried to stay within the periphery of the subject while rewriting the paper and chosen relevant word to express my understanding of the subject. More focus has been given on personal interpretation in the paper by presenting arguments about the subject. Reference has been changed in the reference section and source apart from the book has been removed.
Renowned play, ‘The Emperor Jones’ is an acclaimed and one of the controversial plays of American literature. This play is one of luminous literary works of American author, Eugene O’ Neill. The play is also known for portraying an African American in a lead role. Neill has received a mixed response from audiences, as well as critics for his trendsetter play. This paper intends to discuss the play, ‘The Emperor Jones’ in respect of racism and hidden traits of human behaviour throughout the play.
Character Brutus Jones, the main character of this play, is an escaped prisoner. Jones arrives at an island in the Caribbean and declares himself the emperor of the island. He cleverly deals with natives of the island and convinces them that he is not an ordinary man like them. The story moves ahead depicting a number of scenes wherein inexplicable racial commemorations take place. Natives of the island gradually develop an animosity with jones because of his habits and practices. They finally decide to kill Jones with the silver bullet that they especially made to kill Jones after boiling their silver coins for whole of night.
Hidden traits of human behaviour are portrayed by the author in a pragmatic manner. Jones was a criminal and he was not different from native people of the island, but when he reached at the island, he decided to rule the island. He declared himself as the emperor of the island and started ruling native people. He proclaimed that he is someone very special and different from them. Such portrayal of human behaviour shows that people have desires to rule others and execute their desires whenever they get a chance. People make various false claims, and lie in order to achieve their desire (O'Neill).
Deeply rooted racial mind set is also portrayed by the author in various scenes of the play. Different characters including Jones and Smithers keep highlighting race in bizarre ways. O’ Neill cautiously choses bristly words to highlight this aspect in his play. He writes, “A native Negro woman sneaks in cautiously from the entrance on the right” (O'Neill, p. 6). As it was not enough menacing, he further adds, “She hesitates beside the doorway, peering back as if in extreme dread of being discovered. Then she begins to glide noiselessly, a step at a time, toward the doorway in the rear. At this moment Smithers appears beneath the portico. . . . He sees the woman and stops to watch her suspiciously” (O'Neill, p. 6).
O’Neill portrays racial discriminations in the society, but he does it without disregarding the culture of African Americans in any manner. The author is considered to be a progressive author because he raises the subject without giving others any opportunity of maligning the same. The author takes on racial inequalities, but at the same time, he does not hesitate in portraying the negative traits of individuals. O’Neill does not appear forcing his opinion on audiences and lets them take their call on various issues.
‘The Emperor Jones’ is marked as beginning of contemporary American theatre and success of O’Neill in professional writing. The play holds artistic importation as it allowed O’Neill to establish strong reputation of theatre. The depiction of failure of Jones by using new devices successfully created environment that was desired by the O’Neill and liked by the audience. Vibrancy and vividness depicted in the play, use of drums, continuously changing setting frames, and sustained monologue in a single action were very brilliant in bringing important theatrical aspects forward.
Innovative strategies and new devices used by O’Neill changed the outlook of people towards theatre and American drama. The play gathered attention of critics, raised multiple controversies and became subject of discussions on primary purpose of the play. The contribution of play in leading modernist movement in the field of literature was not a coincidence. Major themes of the play and techniques used by O’Neill allowed audience to get plunge in the play. O’Neill used devices to increase the impact of the scene. For example, O’Neill used drums based on expression while maintaining focuses ancient and harrowing fear and discovery of self (O'Neill).
Having observed the short and snappy analysis of the abovementioned subject, the paper concludes that ‘The Emperor Jones’ is a trendsetter and Eugene Neill has proved his brilliant skills through this play. There are a number of hidden ideas that entertain, as well as educate viewers. The author has delivered some special messages through his play. Race has been portrayed in bizarre yet purposeful manner which educates audiences a lot of things. O’Neill has highlighted characteristics of human behaviour in a realistic manner. The play is one of well acclaimed and controversial plays of the twentieth century because of its storyline and techniques of the Eugene O’ Neill.
O'Neill, Eugene. The Emperor Jones. USA: Courier Corporation, 1997. Print.