The Hairy Ape

Themes

The Hairy Ape displays O'Neill's social concern for the oppressed industrial working class. Despite demonstrating in The Hairy Ape his clear belief that the capitalist system persecutes the working man, O'Neill is critical of a socialist movement that can't fulfill individual needs or solve unique problems.

The industrial environment is presented as toxic and dehumanizing; the world of the rich, superficial and dehumanized. Yank has also been interpreted as representative of the human condition, alienated from nature by his isolated consciousness, unable to find belonging in any social group or environment.


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