full title The Hairy Ape
author Eugene O'Neill
type of work Play
genre Early Expressionist
time and place written Early 1920s, United States
date of first publication 1922
publisher Library of America
narrator Not applicable (drama)
point of view Not applicable (drama)
tone O'Neill is sympathetic to the plight of the modern industrial worker, victimized and enslaved by social class, but does not imagine a new class system within the work.
tense Not applicable (drama)
setting (time) Early 1920s
aboard a transatlantic liner headed to europe and new york city.
major conflict Mildred Douglas, an innocent aristocratic girl, visits the stokehole, sees Yank, and calls him a "filthy beast" and faints.
rising action Mildred's request to see the stokehole; Yank screaming up at the whistle-blower; Mildred seeing Yank
climax Mildred and Yank look at each other
themes The fear of entrapment; the regression of mankind; the frustration of class
motifs Belonging, thought, slavery, service
symbols Steel, Rodin's "The Thinker," Apes, Steel
foreshadowing Characters repeatedly calling Yank an ape