Wednesday 9 December 2020

Book review of 'The Hairy Ape' by Eugene O'Neill

This is my third read of the celebrated American playwright Eugene O'Neill, after The Emperor Jones and Anna Christie. It was wholly different from the other two, in terms of the setting, treatment and characterisation. 

Yank, the protagonist labourer is so raw and real, that one can imagine his physique, feel his angst and empathise with his predicaments. Mildred showcases the utter cluelessness of the highest societal class - devoid of life and capable of untold damage. 

The setting adds on to give readers the feel of the oppressive conditions for the working masses aboard a ship, while the rich enjoy luxury on the decks above them. The contrast produced by the clarity of imagery is deliberately blatant and highly effective.

The hardcore ironies that surround the painful lives of the proletarian masses is captured with unadulterated, unapologetic clarity. The striking contrast between them and the nonchalant, robotic, elite bourgeoisie is so blatant, that one is left with helpless despair and antagonism towards the heartless society. 

The ease with which working classes are deprived of not just a decent lifestyle but also their core confidence, love for life, their very identity, and finally life itself, is so heart-wrenching, that it leaves a bitter taste on the readers' psyche.

I rate the book 4.5 out of 5.

Hope to force my review useful. Follow my blog for more.

Happy reading, readers!


No comments:

Post a Comment