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Editor: Harley Hammerman
St. Louis, Missouri

Volume 2
2007


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The Hairy Ape: An Illustrated Blog

Nathaniel Jones
Western Washington University, Bellingham

Last night I took an hour long bubble bath, during which I thought of what I would write about in the blog, and when I got out of the bath, I decided that I was too tired to write it all, and so would postpone it until today, and now that itís today, I canít remember what I was going to put in. All that I remember is that it was to be very Deep and Philosophical.

Right now in Theater History, weíre looking at the different -isms of the early 20th century and the philosophies behind each one (expressionism, symbolism, futurism, etc) and all of this philosophy has put me into a philosophical mindset, and it got me thinking about The Little Bear Theory of Life (the self-help book I began to write a couple years ago, but abandoned while I wrote the chapter on the Different Planets Theory of Life, which, if true, would prove that the concept of self-help books is worthless and so thereíd be no point in writing it, and, if untrue, would prove that that particular self-help book is worthless and so thereíd be no point in writing it).

Going back to Theater History, for class on Friday we read the Eugene OíNeill play The Hairy Ape, which is in the expressionism ism. As I was reading it, I kept thinking of sweet visual things that could be done with it, and so earlier today I decided to try my hand at expressionism drawing (where rather than realistic or aesthetically pleasing images, the pictures would be designed to express emotion, and create a strong gut reaction in those viewing them). About halfway through the play I decided that I really donít like the play enough to put all the work into finishing it considering the vast amounts of work I have to do this weekend and which I have not yet begun. But since I did put a couple hours into drawing the first half, I didnít want to waste them, and so have put them below.
 

Hairy Ape -  Title

Title
 

Hairy Ape -  Yank sits while the crew drinks and laughs.

Yank sits while the crew drinks and laughs.
 

Hairy Ape -  Yank tells the guys to keep it quiet.

Yank tells the guys to keep it quiet.
 

Hairy Ape -  Yank gets a drink and joins the conversation.

Yank gets a drink and joins the conversation.
 

Hairy Ape -  the guys respect Yank's authoritah.

The guys respect Yank's authoritah.
 

Hairy Ape -  the old Irishman tells about how it ought to be, out in the air, before Yank declares that the way it is is the way it ought to be, with himself as the basis for everything in the world.

The old Irishman tells about how it ought to be, out in the air, before Yank declares that the way it is is the way it ought to be, with himself as the basis for everything in the world.
 

Hairy Ape -  the bell signals that it's time to go back to work.

The bell signals that it's time to go back to work.
 
Hairy Ape -  The crew shovels coal into the furnaces.
The crew shovels coal into the furnaces.
 
Hairy Ape -  Meanwhile on deck, Mildred, the bored-with-life daughter of a multi-millionaire steel company owner, sits bored with her aunt.
Meanwhile on deck, Mildred, the bored-with-life daughter of a multi-millionaire steel company owner, sits bored with her aunt.
 
Hairy Ape -  With witty insults, Mildred explains to her aunt about wanting to see how the other half lives.
With witty insults, Mildred explains to her aunt about wanting to see how the other half lives.
 
Hairy Ape -  Her aunt does not approve, and calls her a poser.
Her aunt does not approve, and calls her a poser.
 
Hairy Ape -  A crew member arrives to take her down to the furnace room, because her father owns the ship, and she can do whatever she wants. As she goes to see how the other half lives, her aunt calls her a poser again.
A crew member arrives to take her down to the furnace room, because her father owns the ship, and she can do whatever she wants. As she goes to see how the other half lives, her aunt calls her a poser again.
 
Hairy Ape -  The crew takes a much needed break from shoveling coal into the furnace.
The crew takes a much needed break from shoveling coal into the furnace.
 
Hairy Ape -  The bell keeps on ringing to tell the guys to work faster, and this makes the guys mad.
The bell keeps on ringing to tell the guys to work faster, and this makes the guys mad.
 
Hairy Ape -  Yank says naughty things about the guy that keeps ringing the bell.
Yank says naughty things about the guy that keeps ringing the bell.
 
Hairy Ape -  As the bell keeps ringing, Yank says that if the guy ringing the bell were down there right then he'd beat his head in with a shovel. Mildred is standing right behind him, and she gets scared.
As the bell keeps ringing, Yank says that if the guy ringing the bell were down there right then he'd beat his head in with a shovel. Mildred is standing right behind him, and she gets scared.
 
Hairy Ape -  Yank hears someone behind him and spins around in a threatening way. Mildred is terrified of the ferocity of Yank.
Yank hears someone behind him and spins around in a threatening way. Mildred is terrified of the ferocity of Yank.
 
Hairy Ape -  Yank is shocked to see a beautiful young girl dressed all in white down in the furnace room, and is 'turned to stone.'
Yank is shocked to see a beautiful young girl dressed all in white down in the furnace room, and is 'turned to stone.'
 
Hairy Ape -  Mildred calls him a filthy beast and runs away.
Mildred calls him a filthy beast and runs away.
 
Hairy Ape -  Yank is mad that she would dare go down to his furnace room and call him a beast (a hairy ape, as the other guys put it).
Yank is mad that she would dare go down to his furnace room and call him a beast (a hairy ape, as the other guys put it).
 
Hairy Ape -  The guys laugh about it later, but Yank is still fuming about it.
The guys laugh about it later, but Yank is still fuming about it.
 
Hairy Ape -  He tells them all to keep quiet, and the guys are surprised at how serious he is about this thing.
He tells them all to keep quiet, and the guys are surprised at how serious he is about this thing.
 
Hairy Ape -  The old Irish guy tells them that it's because when he saw the girl, he fell in love with her.
The old Irish guy tells them that it's because when he saw the girl, he fell in love with her.
 
Hairy Ape -  Yank tells him that the way he acted wasn't because he's in love with her, it's because she surprised him, and he thought she was a ghost, and the reason he's still brooding about it is because he hates her so much.
Yank tells him that the way he acted wasn't because he's in love with her, it's because she surprised him, and he thought she was a ghost, and the reason he's still brooding about it is because he hates her so much.
 
Hairy Ape -  The old Irish man tells him that it'd take a very wise man to be able to tell the difference between love and hate.
The old Irish man tells him that it'd take a very wise man to be able to tell the difference between love and hate.

Thatís as far as I got with the pictures. After that point, in the play, Yank vows to get revenge against Mildred for insulting him, and he goes to the High Class part of town and tries to fight people, but they ignore him, until he ends up making one man miss his bus, and for this he is arrested. While in his jail cell he hears about the International Workers of the World, and they sound very violent, so when he gets out he goes to join in so he can blow up the steel company that Mildredís dad owns, but the IWW think heís a spy for the government, and so they kick him out and call him a hairy ape as well. He then goes to the zoo after closing time and sees the real hairy ape, and sets it free, but when the ape gets out of his cage, he grabs Yank and squeezes him so hard that it pretty well crushes him, and then throws him into the ape cage, where he dies. Indeed, most of these ism plays arenít very cheery. But they make for some interesting stylistic things, which is what inspired the drawings.

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