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Editor: Harley Hammerman
St. Louis, Missouri

Volume 8


Schizorevolution in O’Neill’s
The Hairy Ape

Adel Bahroun
University of Kairouan, Tunisia

In The Hairy Ape, Eugene O'Neill is adopting an ironic style to satirize the human condition in the modern capitalist world. Staging Man like an ape is very significant. This theatrical technique is to extend the original perception of man as a ‘political animal.’ The playwright adopts the Greek understanding of politics. Man is a political and social being who can live and act only in the company of men. Writing on the relation between the State and the Individual, Aristotle argues in The Politics, that "the state belongs to the class of objects which exist by nature, and man is by nature a political animal (politikon zoon)" (59).

Man is an organism, whose nature is to live in an association, a polis or an organization. In this context, O’Neill and Arendt seem to echo each other in their political thoughts and assumptions. Arendt begins with the question: “Man: a social or a political animal?” (22). She reaches the idea that man is active in the political and social sphere. In The Human Condition, she writes that “to be political, to live in a polis, meant that everything was decided through words and persuasion and not through force and violence (26). O’Neill attributes the ape good qualities of a political thinker. The ape’s eloquent speeches aim at persuading his inmates and the chorus to understand political manifestations. Indeed,

speechless action would no longer be action because there would no longer be an actor, and the actor, the doer of deeds, is possible only if he is at the same time the speaker of words. The action he begins is humanly disclosed by the word, and though his deed, can be perceived in its brute physical appearance without verbal accompaniment, it becomes relevant only through the spoken word in which he identifies himself as the actor, announcing what he does, has done, and intends to do. (Arendt 178– 79)

O’Neill insists on the political action which precedes the call for freedom in the polis. Yank is the best O’Neillian example of political bankruptcy and deterritorialization in the American polis. He is a lonely figure, alienated from the world, yet active in his revolutionary protest. Indeed, the ape is the ancestor of human being who is fated to live in a state of frustrated bewilderment. Despite the difficulty of staging the zoo scene, in a tragic closed circle, O'Neill is able to make the comic burden of the gorilla a power of doom. The referents 'ape', 'monkey', 'gorilla' are clear evidences that the subject is tragically fated to act like a political animal. Yank objects to being territorialized and annihilated in a hysterical and neurotic state. He struggles for emancipation and freedom from the nihilist capitalist curse.

Hysteria, neuroticism and paranoia are the Guattarian postmodern devices manifesting the psychical trouble and madness of a schizophrenic desiring machine, like Yank. O’Neill launches new sites for anti-oedipal traps in (post)modern drama. He anticipates the birth of new modes of struggle, revolutionizing the theatrical scene. Thus, he is surveying and mapping realms that are yet to come. Discourse analysis can free the theatrical speech from the contingency of time and fixed understanding of conceptions, such as schizophrenia and nomadology. The method adopted to do this task is termed, by Deleuze and Guattari, schizoanalysis. Thus, "schizoanalysis must devote itself with all its strength to the necessary destructions. Destroying beliefs and representations, theatrical scenes" (Deleuze and Guattari, Anti-Oedipus 314).

The subjects in The Hairy Ape suffer from severe setbacks. They rehearse the political thoughts emerged in the ideologies of Lincoln and Jefferson. They are demanding their unalienable rights, like the blessings of liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. In this respect, In An Outline of American History, Smith states that "largely Jefferson's work, The Declaration of Independence, adopted July 4, 1776, not only announced the birth of a new nation, but also set forth a philosophy of human freedom that would become a dynamic force throughout the entire world (73). Eugene O’Neill articulates the thoughts and attitudes of the mob who protest and contest, in schizophrenic manner, demanding liberal democracy as a sacred right:

VOICE. Sssh! (reading) "Like Cato I say to this Senate, the I. W. W. must be destroyed! For they represent an ever-present dagger pointed at the heart of the greatest nation the world has ever known, where all men are born free and equal, with equal opportunities to all, where the Founding Fathers have guaranteed to each one happiness, where Truth, Honor, Liberty, Justice and the Brotherhood of Man are a religion absorbed with one's mother milk, taught at our father's knee, sealed, signed, and stamped upon in the glorious Constitution of these United States!" (a perfect storm of hisses, catcalls, boos, and hard laughter). (The Hairy Ape 153)

Unlike the derelicts in The Iceman Cometh, the subjects in The Hairy Ape are not dreamers. They are activists and thinkers who are liable to radically move in order to belong to the world of human qualities, a state of becoming, where subjecthood is not territorialized by the totalitarian regime. Their belonging is conditioned by their actional desire. The American subjects refuse totalitarianism declaring ‘the right to have rights’ as Arendt claims in The Origins of Totalitarianism. Yank’s schizophrenic desire is not limited to emancipation only, but also extended to participation in the political sphere. In fact, the bourgeois are against the establishment of national institutions where the subject can perform socio-political actions that protect the rights of the community. In this

respect, it is worth quoting Arendt, in the aforementioned book, that
the fundamental deprivation of the human rights is manifested first and above all in the deprivation of a place in the world which makes opinions significant and actions effective. Something more fundamental than freedom and justice, which are rights of citizens, is at stake when belonging to the community into which one is born is no longer a matter of course and not belonging a matter of choice, or when one is placed in a situation where unless he commits a crime, his treatment by others does not depend on what he does or does not do. (296)

The battle of Yank, identified with the ape, takes place in an alien territory - a zoo. Yank is jailed deprived of the right of freedom, choice and action. He is isolated and atomized by the government so that he cannot exercise any political action. Indeed, the totalitarian state keeps active agents in jail. That is their right to do, but it is an offense of the right of the human subject.

YANK. (Suddenly starting as if awakening from a dream, reaches out and shakes the bar – aloud to himself, wonderingly) Steel. Dis de zoo, huh? (a burst of hard barking laughter comes from the unseen occupants of the cells, runs back down the tier, and abruptly ceases.)

VOICES. (mockingly) The Zoo? That's a new name for this coop – a damn good name! Steel, eh? You said a mouthful. This is the old iron house. (The Hairy Ape 150)

O’Neill utilizes “Voices”, like the chorus in ancient drama, to refer to American individuals who want to exercise collective action in the public space. Their voices are full of pejorative words and deeds, emphasizing the pursuit of public happiness. They are nomads raising credible voices full of neuroticism, rage and vengeance against the capitalist totalitarian governors, who are blood (money) suckers. The totalitarian practices of the capitalists are behind the sickness and miserable conditions of the derelicts, bottom people in the American Melting Pot. The 'swine capitalists' are referred to as "the bleedin' parasites"(The Hairy Ape 147); there is a voice (reading):

"I refer to that devil's brew of rascals jailbirds, murders and cutthroats who libel all honest working men by calling themselves the Industrial Workers of the World; but in the light of their nefarious plots, I call them the Industrious Wreckers of the World!"

YANK. (with vengeful satisfaction) Wreckers, dat's de right dope! Dat belongs! Me for dem! (The Hairy Ape 152)

In The Hairy Ape, O'Neill is skeptical about the movement of the industrial workers’ association, "the Wobblies" (founded in 1905), because they are unable to abolish capitalism or realize any social change. The weight of the perlocutionary forces of the protagonists, in The Hairy Ape, heal the audience in a melodramatic atmosphere to be schizorevolutionary desiring machines, and stand firm like 'steel' and 'iron' (Yank's words) against the repressive and oppressive power of the totalitarian bourgeois. O’Neill seems to adopt a schizophrenic style as if he was schizophrenic. The question that haunts O'Neill's audience, especially in The Hairy Ape, is how the subjects proceed in their tragic dilemmas to become not only schizophrenics but also nomads. "The nomads invented a war machine in opposition to the State apparatus," write Deleuze and Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus (24).

O’Neill draws further dimensions for the fight between the bourgeois and the working class. The capitalist bourgeois in the western world become imperialists, as depicted by Arendt in The Origins of Totalitarianism. Indeed, the American subjects initiate a violence to emancipate the community in the low strata of the polis from national despotism. The latter is the evil product of totalitarianism. The bourgeoisie are interested not only in the political rule, but also in capital. The system of the bourgeois is based on the investment of the political and economic power. In the same line of thoughts, Arendt argues that this thirst for power is "the essential cause of their nihilism (…) which preached the superstitious of progress with the really vulgar superstition of doom, and preached automatic annihilation with the same enthusiasm that the fanatics had preached the irresistibility of economic laws" (144).

Eugene O’Neill stages the polis as the place where totalitarianism is widespread destroying the dreams and the movements of the working class. In the early twentieth century, the capitalist governors in the American polis exert totalitarian policy. They transform the low and middle strata of society into derelicts, living and acting like apes. The tragic atmosphere in the tragicomedy, The Hairy Ape, reflects the mood of the early years of the twentieth century. Indeed, the playwright problematizes and historicizes the crisis of subjectivity in America through factual realities. Yank is a stereotype in the United States. He is the American subject who wants to actively participate in the political game. But, his potentiality of political action is suppressed by the imperialistic totalitarian regime. The subjects who sympathize with Yank, the miserable ape, are staged at the closure of the play/the farce as monkeys "chattering and whimpering wail". The wail fills the hollow theatrical space with gloom, grief and sarcasm. They become nihilist desiring machines and martyrs of the fakeness of the capitalist ideals.

Through staging the apes, Eugene O'Neill renders theater a kind of circus. Like William Shakespeare, O’Neill dramatizes the human condition in a derisive tragic style, depicting the world as a stage of apes. Here, it seems that the polis is reduced to have the structure of the stage as a cinematic kind of place. The audience may be purged when social concerns like capitalism, industrialism, totalitarianism and political unrest are enacted in critical tragicomic manner. This leads to advocate what Ward states: "Capitalism had infiltrated all of existence, and had taken away expression and satisfaction. All desires under capitalism were 'false,' 'mediated' desires" (150).

The American subjects, in The Hairy Ape, are machines acting mechanically, killing each other. Desire for liberty leads to violence of all kinds against oneself, the other and groups. The stokehole becomes like hell. The subjects embrace the same doom under the lure of their material, libidinal and psychical desires. They are led by the desire that seduces them to be at war with one another or with themselves. The pulling force of desire and the pushing power of doom coincide in the same ground or circuit. O’Neill’s protagonists are territorialized subjects, who are doomed to be dead machines in cryptic territories. Thus, the stokers are "outlined in silhouette in the crouching, inhuman attitudes of chained gorillas" (The Hairy Ape 135).

Further, for Travis Bogard, O'Neill creates at least the outlines of the American drama of social protest such as the case of Yank, Hickey and their inmates. In The Hairy Ape, the subjects are moving and revolutionizing the audience. O'Neill's subjects are the proletariat who are fated to be schizorevolutionary. They are quite conscious of the necessity to move and alter their doom, seeking the right course of liberty, dignity and happiness. O'Neill stages them as beasts overcoming Freudian schizophrenic schemata to embrace postmodern subjectivity that finds its essence in a continuous process of schizophrenic contest.

O'Neill's schizophrenics are resisting their psychical entrapment in a revolutionary lifestyle against social and political oppression; they are insurgents longing for new frame of standardized subjectivity. They are like apes yearning to free themselves from the iron bars of the zoo, which are symbolically capitalist or anti-oedipal barriers. Suffice to say, the capitalist polis with its state apparatuses become solid barriers whose transgression is a mockery of oneself:

YANK. (dully) I must been dreamin'. I thought I was in a cage at de zoo – but de apes don't talk, do they? (The Hairy Ape 150)

VOICES. (With mocking laughter) you're in a cage aw right.
A coop!
A pen!
A sty!
A kernel (hard laughter – a pause) Say, guy! Who are you? No, never mind lying. What are you?
Yes, tell us your sad story. What's your game?
What did they jug yuh for?

YANK. (dully) I was a fireman' stokin' on de liners. (then with sudden rage, rattling his cell bars) I'm a hairy ape, get me? And I'll bust youse all in de jaw if yuh don't lay off kiddin' me.

VOICES. Huh! You're a hard boiled duck, ain't you!
When you spit, it bounces! (laughter)
Aw, can it. He's a regular guy. Ain't you?
What did he say he was – a ape?

YANK. (defiantly) sure ting! Ain't dat what youse all
are– apes? (The Hairy Ape 150-51)

O'Neill is "drawing an explicit link to Darwin's theory of descent from apes and its connection to abolitionist movements in the Anglo-American world" (Dowling 562). O'Neill invokes a Darwinian idea that the human subjects die, but the flows of their desire will be more invested by new desiring machines who cannot avoid the same fate/trap stored in the libidinal economy. In his critical comments on O'Neill's The Hairy Ape, Dowling writes, that the play "contains his most explicit statement on Darwinism and American Culture" (562).

Then, it is noteworthy also that O'Neill's staging of the subject like an ape is an irony reflecting what Nietzsche writes in Thus Spoke Zarathustra:

What is the ape to man? A laughing-stock or a painful embarrassment. And just shall man be that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now, too, man is more of an ape than any ape. (12)

Like Nietzsche, O’Neill depicts all men as apes revealing the general state of mankind. There is no difference between men as they are fated to live in the same stagnant/territorialized conditions, aspiring towards the “overmen”. They share the same qualities and furies. They also worry about the waste of their potential and the deprivation of security. The hairy ape, Yank, is like the “last man” who is tragically fighting for happiness. He takes risks in a schizorevolutionary manner, developing his potential to attain a state of becoming- that of the superman/overman. At this level, O’Neill expresses his disgust of the “last man” and the end of the thinking subject. The hairy ape, speaking and thinking subject, celebrates the defeat of the human spirit which gives birth to the superman. Superhuman struggle, which is based on theatrical schemes, is the audacious individual’s strife in the mediocre society, marking the end of history.

However, whatever the spatial boundaries are extended, the American capitalist subject seems to act in a cramped space "imprisoned by white steel," where any attempt of resistance brings about another circuit of oppression and entrapment. All species/descendents of the ape will face the same truth about themselves whatever the spiritual changes they may attain, even in the construction of new cultures, Nietzsche’s estimation in The Birth of Tragedy. Here again, it seems that this complex idea is radically conceived by Eugene O’Neill. Life intensities are endless as the flows of libidinal capitalist desire are unalterable. Social consciousness is revealing the necessity of libidinal investments with new codes and superhuman qualities.

In The Hairy Ape, the subject is symbolically caged struggling for deterritorialization – freedom from socio-political constraints and (illegal) codes. Again, the tragic irony is that the animal is the active speaking subject. The subject, essentially Yank, is a machine made of blood and flesh:

PADDY. … I'm thinking in by steel from a sight of the sky like bloody apes in the Zoo! (With a harsh laugh) Ho – ho, devil mend you! Is it to belong to that you're wishing? Is it to belong to that you're wishing? Is it a flesh and blood wheel of the engines you'd be? (The Hairy Ape 127)

YANK. … I'm steam and oil for de engines; I'm de ting in noise dat makes yuh hear it; I'm smoke and express trains and steamers and factory whistles; I'm de ting in gold dat makes money! (The Hairy Ape 128-29)

The use of similes in the tragicomedy gives the actors the strength to manifest their rage, anxiety and deep neuroticism. The 'steam', the ' smoke', the 'dynamite' are the signs of war, will-to-life and metamorphosis. Indeed, The Hairy Ape is an urgent call to schizophrenic revolution or rather deterritorialization. It is an attempt not simply to escape the state of social, economic and political crisis, but also the tragic stasis resulting from the dissatisfaction of the libidinal/political economy.

It seems to me that the target of Yank’s revolution is not as Travis Bogard argues to belong to the modern world of higher technologies, but rather to cut with the two worlds of animality and machinery. Both cannot endow the subject with peace and normalized standardized essence of selfhood and citizenship. Perhaps, Yank, the major protagonist in the play, heeds to live with the superhuman codes to resist the crushing fate of the materialist nihilist system; a mixture of Nietzsche’s will-to-power and Schopenhauer's will-to-life gives birth to desiring machines. Indeed, Eugene O’Neill draws further inferences from Schopenhauer’s philosophical work, The World as Idea and Will. He believes in the indestructive nature of the will. It is the will that shapes the world and vice versa. This cognitive perception gives much importance to the timeless character of the will. But, human will is identified with determinism, which implies the timeless and spaceless fateful reciprocity between the two doctrines. On the basis of Schopenhauer’s philosophy that Free Will or Freedom is expressed in idea or thought, O’Neill seems to heighten these controversies in The Hairy Ape, insisting on the efficacy of the power of Fate in terms of necessity. In this respect, self-consciousness forms the boundaries of the workings of Free Will and Determinism/Fate. In On the Freedom of the Will, Arthur Schopenhauer states:

The business of the self-consciousness is only the volition, together with its absolute power over the parts of the body, which power is actually meant in the expression "what I will. "Moreover, only the use of this power, i.e., the act, makes of it volition, even for the self-consciousness. For as long as it is in the process of becoming it is called a wish. (17)

The best way of becoming is getting through the process of schizorevolution against the repressive codes of the state apparatuses. In the first half of twentieth century, American groups were so motivated by socio-political desires, but they are suppressed by the power of the state or the State Apparatus (as it is called in Marxist theory). In On Ideology, Louis Althusser adopts the Marxist theory stating:

Remember that in Marxist theory, the State Apparatus (SA) contains the Government, the Administration, the Army, the Police, the Courts, the Prisons, etc., which constitute what I shall in future call the Repressive State Apparatus. Repressive suggests that the State apparatus in question ‘functions by violence’ – at least ultimately (since repression, e.g. administrative repression, may take non-physical forms).

I shall call Ideological State Apparatuses a certain number of realities which present themselves to the immediate observer of distinct and specialized institutions. (17)

At this point, Foucault's conception of power is like Althusser's perception of ideology. It expresses the fateful interests and ideas of a group/class. The question of ideology4 is bound up with the controversial issues of politics, power, dominance and resistance. From a large standpoint, ideology shapes collective desire. This interacts with power and resistance to determine the doom of the community. The impact of ideological apparatuses is manifest in the deception of the subjects about their true condition.

The discursive practices of the subjects, in The Hairy Ape, reveal the degree of their awareness of their distorted subjectivity. They represent the Americans denigrated at the bottom of social strata. They are searching unity through revolutionary actions. The aim of revolution is to belong. But belonging is inevitably a fall into territorialization. It is like being born under the dispensation of a certain doom. Then, it is worth noticing that the subjects are not the category of machines conceived by Marx in stagnant state as slaves of the capitalist stream. They are moving, struggling for, what Francis Fukuyama coins, liberal democracy, a better system than any of the alternatives. In this respect, Diggins portends:

And in Eugene O’Neill’s modern America, democracy leaves the mind uniformed of any conception of the desirable and with no easy means of self-realization. The specter that haunts democracy is desire, that mysteriously spontaneous emotional force that the will cannot govern and the mind cannot command. Faced with this modern human condition that threatens our sovereignty, the playwright may help us understand how difficult it is for America to be truly ‘the land of the Free.’(8)

Despite oppression of the impersonal institutions in America, the subjects express their desire for vacuous principles: "Liberty! Justice! Honor! Opportunity! Brotherhood!" (The Hairy Ape 153) Here the playwright dramatizes the strangulation of freedom and the absence of democracy. He criticizes the capitalist government with contempt and mockery, letting the subjects express their desire for breaking away from the capitalist institutions and the moral ethics of the polis. He criticizes the government’s despotic power and its hostility to the principles of freedom. In fact, O'Neill stages the unfair practices of the governors to hypothesize deterritorialization against despotism. Here, it is worth evoking the idea that the subject’s stratagem of fight for democracy echoes Plato’s demonstration of imperfect societies in The Republic:

‘Then democracy originates when the poor win, kill or exile their opponents, and give the rest equal civil rights and opportunities of office, appointment to office being as a rule by lot.’

‘Yes,’ he agreed, ‘that is how democracy is established, whether it’s done by force of arms or by fighting its opponents into withdrawal.’

‘What sort of society will it be?’ I asked, ‘and how will its affairs be run? The answer, obviously, will show us the character of the democratic man’


Would you agree, first, that people will be free? There is liberty and freedom of speech in plenty, and every individual is free to do as he likes.’ (375)

The 'damned bloody governors' represent the ideological authority that dominates the polis and its state apparatuses. The subjects protest against the game of votes and the absence of democracy. They ridicule the concept of the political institution and its legitimacy in the American capitalist society. Yank ensures that "Votes! Votes is a joke, see. Votes for women! Let them do it!" (The Hairy Ape 148) Long, also, (excitedly) expresses the gang's desire for votes: "We must impress our demands through peaceful means – the votes of the on-marching proletarians of the bloody world!" (The Hairy Ape 147) The subjects are acutely aware of the necessity of being equal in the sight of God; they are on-marching proletarians who are engaged in a schizophrenic movement rejecting the power of the vile government. They drink, think and speak simperingly with great cynicism and amusement. They preach laws and justice refusing their miserable living condition. They liken life in the polis to ‘hell’, because they are harshly deprived of exerting their will freely. They desperately complain about their discrimination by the political institutions. The latter alienate the subjects in a circle of desolation, cynicism and paranoia.

YANK. (with abysmal contempt) Hell! Law!

ALL. (repeating the word after him with cynical mockery) Law!

LONG. (feeling the ground slipping from under his feet-desperately) As voters and citizens we kin force the bloody governments.

YANK. (with abysmal contempt) Hell! Governments!

ALL. (repeating the word after him as one with cynical mockery) Governments! (The word has a brazen metallic quality as if their throats were phonograph horns. It is followed by a chorus of hard, barking laughter.)

LONG. (hysterically) We’re free and equal in the sight of God-. (The Hairy Ape 140)

The subjects' deterritorialization in the capitalist polis is an appalling fall in the evil net of the unfair capitalist governors, who believe in the supremacy of political power on constant human struggles. Upon this pattern of encounter between the limitations of human will and the despotic force, O'Neill builds the tragic climax in a social and historical tragedy. The playwright historicizes the revolt of the stoker against the domination of the totalitarian capitalist state apparatus. The stoker, Yank who is reduced to a man stooping and moving like an ape attempts to escape the animalistic forms of doom. This experiments his efforts with the flows of humane qualities. The preconscious aim of flight is to create a new spatial territory where desire is in harmony with new vistas of freedom, beyond the confinement inside the steel framework of a cage.

A POLICEMAN. (Who has come up the street in time to hear this last – with grim humor) you'll get off at the station you boob, if you don't get up out of that and keep movin'.

YANK. (looking at him – with a hard, bitter laugh) On'y answer yuh know. G' man, lock me up!

POLICEMAN. I'd run you in but it's too long a walk to the station. Come on now, get up or I'll fan your ears with this club. Beat it now! (He howls Yank to his feet.)

YANK. (in a vague mocking tone) Say, where do I do go from here?

POLICEMAN. (giving him a push – with a grin, indifferently) Go to hell. (The Hairy Ape 160)

O’Neill is advocating a socio-political fact that the American subjects are in conflicts with the “agents of repression, (soldiers, policemen, politicians, administrators, etc.) (Althusser 29). Ideological repression gives birth to revolutionary ideological voices against the body politic, and a rejection of the politics of the polis. The latter is the central place where the episodes of the socio-political daily life and scenes of protest against totalitarian domination and injustice take place. Indeed, as Arendt contends in The Origins of Totalitarianism, “it goes without saying that the totalitarian regimes where the police had risen to the peak of power, were especially eager to consolidate this power through the domination over the groups of people, who, regardless of any offences committed by individuals, found themselves away beyond the place of the law” (288).

The polis is the stage where the subjects insist on their Civil rights, revolt against despotism and express their discontent with the constitution. Here, O’Neill helps the audience not only to be purged of wrath, but also of fear of being actively involved in a bloody schizorevolution against the polis and its unfair institutions. The subjects share the same psychical acts which become common stimulus for radical change. It seems to me that O’Neill is not simply a witness of socio-political anarchy in early twentieth century America, but also an activist and perspicacious who draws the pathway towards becoming, through what Deleuze and Guattari call schizorevolution. He stresses the ubiquity of strife on all levels of existence, and objectifies the will to change for a better tomorrow.

O'Neill's realistic setting and stage directions make his protagonist, Yank, act in a proper intriguing mode. He is the best O'Neillian pattern to construct new moles of postmodern subjectivity beyond ridiculous static structure. O'Neill's dramatic venture is schizophrenizing modern subjects to break away from the boundaries and traps of modernity, and therefore let them creep into veritable revolutionary territories. Here, as Foucault specifies the notion in Critical Acclaim for Power/Knowledge, territory is not geographical only, but political. Thus, "territory is no doubt a geographical notion, but it's first of all a juridico-political one: the area controlled by a certain kind of power" (68). The subject's power of contest against the domination of the political state apparatus, exemplified in the body of the policeman, reveals the degree of consciousness and the repressive effect of the system on revolutionary imprisoned bodies, like the hairy ape. Psychical revolution/schizorevolution needs more spatial grounds and solid headquarters not simply of knowledge, but also of military force. For that reason, any attempt of psychical revolution or will-to-power is tangled up into the realm of representation.

The end of The Hairy Ape is very tragic and derisive. Yank is killed under the theatrical mask – the pelt – as a martyr. The state of becoming is doomed, like the state of being - a state of territorialization that grants no salvation. Death is a state of belonging to peace, and perhaps to the cherished form of subjectivity. The ape is at last killed by the gorilla - by its own ghost. The ape is doomed to self-destruction. John Orr comments that "the final and fatal embrace of with the gorilla in the zoo puts Yank beyond human fate and makes the audience external to his doom." (170). Indeed, the nihilist is doomed to be killed by his own beliefs in a desperate condition, realizing the absurd political endgame.


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