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"Vital Contact": Eugene O'Neill and the Working Class Author(s): Patrick J.

Chura Reviewed work(s): Source: Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 49, No. 4 (Winter, 2003), pp. 520-546 Published by: Hofstra University Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3176038 . Accessed: 22/09/2012 15:00
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"VitalContact":Eugene O'Neill and theWorking Class
Chura Patrickj.

A famous ofEugene O'Neill shows theplaywright at photograph thethreshold of his in from theshore
career, gazing calmly seaward

O'Neillentered thescene asonedarkly handsome sailor upon with andburning with undiscovered talambition, burning eyes entandunproduced plays. -Leona Rust Egan(153)

He is wearing the Provincetown.. sailor's uniform navy-blue jersey thathe had been givenupon his from seaman promotion ordinary to able-bodiedseamanon board the American Line cruise ship in 1911. O'Neill's atPhiladelphia is contemplative titude andtranquil, his posture and reposed dignified, but his clothingsuggests physical labor.He is inwardly a poetand outwardly a sailor. playwright and relaxed, pensive Well-groomed, between seaandland, he advertises affiliation withthe working class in while a of leisure engaged type YaleCollection ofAmerican Literature, excludes himfrom it. Beinecke RareBookandManuscript that As an icon of the Library,Yale University playwright's

Literature 49.4 Twentieth-Century

Winter 2003

520

costuming full ofplays.Class and the O'Neill Working Eugene but hasbeen sailor's andwork. symbolizing canons.but rarely Packing people" (qtd. (Sheaffer pleasure speechless the O'Neillkept jersey. jersey with the Provincetown Provincetown andhis audition Players. O'Neill's life variously interpreted. working O'Neill's someoftheoriginal sawthrough because Players Partly he and because the staged working-class play initially identity2 partly was"a very offered totheProvincetowners (Ranald slight piece" 506). he"became certified-that to what the attention to draw jersey failing alloftwo Lineships" andspent almost American onthe anableseaman his third he had left his than 20 after sea. (Black 115). years entry in Line for his arrival hedonned hisoldAmerican hisseavoyages. speculating expressed inthe success world ever have the least . Atthesecond O'Neill's meeting tryout clicked" O'Neillandthe however. apparently drawing trampishly" (Kemp to hiscurrent dramatic to lendcredibility remote seagoing experience tothe Provincetowntopresent himself asa worker efforts. approval 521 . More at life. a stint other often credentials. play in a ship's was read for the Provincetown a common seaman forecastle. insomethe ofthe A recent significance jersey interprets biographer it "the first outward that conventional what terms. seaman andcarrying a sailor's himself asa seasoned knapsack O'Neill "had like a sailor who had "Dressed just jumped ship. "something of for a one-act about the death When "Bound East Cardiff" 96). ofmiddle-class rejection uniform tohave tousehissailor's O'Neillseems In 1916.. out American Line white letters with bold form sweater bespoke spelling ifconflicted but its a determined notconventionality denial. however. him. seafaring years years itto mended andpresented sweater hadthemoth-eaten wife Carlotta All his him with left thegift life. attempted five after into the theater. that indication Eugene might the unianother On orbe self-supporting" level. doing including working-class adding inMindil for the work Swift "manual 4).. It was "the breakthrough was unanimous. the first decade he interview In nearly during gave every hisapprenticeship as a common to mention O'Neillwascareful sailor.The decision flannel shirts to with the themselves wore ers wasshrewd. ofhislast than more itwascertainly voyage justa souvenir of hiscareer.3 between first didnotgo well. identify Players the class. decidedly (Kemp Players. jersey asa seaman." slackly on a somewhat come totown 95). 197). theyhad hoped group. Atthe his first tofacilitate ageof28.

4 Mark Pittenger's narratives preceding studyof nonfiction middle-class writers who in order as workers producedby "passed" poor the underclassor experience povertyidentifies to investigate 49 such in theProgressive era alone (55).Patrick J. termin generaluse in the pre-World War I decade. vivify through supposedly simpler.. exgivinga name to the frequent interaction between genteelradicalsand workers.6Intertwining mirrored cape." Moderns.Chura for" (Egan 11). prominence. "Then we knew whatwe were for"(254). be called an innovative Though "Bound East" maylegitimately play. Susan Glaspell'sProvincetown memoirrecallsthatafter thisO'Neill reading. As Harry "This time no one doubted thathere was a genuine Kemp explained. middlegroundbetweenwhathe termed creative and "military" 522 .WilliamJamesmade explicitthe link between Roosevelt's masculineideal and the downclassing of the in era The Varieties for (1902).American Stansell's observes that a "vital contact. By the 1910s. itsattempt to providethe middle classwith intimate access to workingclass reality was not an unusualsocial phenomenon or artistic themein the 1910s. apparently throughtrialand a social theme and artistic formulathatwould sustainhis rise to error. discovered.downclassing aspectsofTheodore Roosevelt'sideal of the life"as a methodof physically domesticated "strenuous rebuilding overly male selfhoodin the lateVictorianage. If the fledgling playwright" companyhad foundits drathe dramatist had also matist. were enervated overeducation and overrefinement and that by theycould rethemselves contact with more hardier. Progressive ofReligious Experience Searching a vibrant. theatrical (96)."distilled an ethos of cross-class was that exchange"(64). Numerous nonfictional downclassing experiments suggesta concernwithboth experimentally motivated and highlevel of historical reform-driven affiliation with the lower classesby genteel interlopers beginningaround the 1880s and peaking-along with the furthermost inroadsof socialisminto American politics-in the decade and a half WorldWar I." class descentideallyresultedin a restoredmasculine identitythroughthe exchange of the softening lifeforthe ruggedhardships conditionsof privileged of a labor environmasculineself-renewal with themesof pastoralesment. For male seekersof "vital contact. Christine perimental recentwork. spirited people" (61).The theory "privileged youth..a new phrase-"vital texts contact"5-had become current among rebelliousHarvardundergraduates and New York politicalliberals.

the-century themale model.When producing JaneAddams founded Hull House in 1889 in one of Chicago's most wards.the"old to nurture thatatmaternalfunction maids at Hull House" embodied a surrogate and of sexual independence tenuatedtheirdeclarations bespoke only a of gender.' and terminology. Alluding withoutthe need of crushing ous life. The femaleparadigm era involvedameliorative of the proletarian journey in the Progressive and embodyingthe lower class social work.her example inspirededucated upper-classyoung impoverished matecitiesto relinquish women in Chicago and severalothernorthern rial comforts to live and work among the poor.not simplypassingthrough and but reforming it-actively inculcatingbourgeois moral. Through theirdesire among working-class and make over the lower classesin theirown image. Jamesconcluded thatsocioeconomic self-denial "saintly" be 'the strenuthelogical answer: acceptedpoverty "May not voluntarily weakerpeoples?" (367).000 spectators stage Square together PatersonStrikePageant.an unprecedented den to createthe spectacular forcross-class of possibilities unitythatis now understoodby art display of radical self-conincidentin the history as "an important historians of public art" (Nochlin 64). aestheticstandards subjects.7 principal and Greenwich eant.Class Working EugeneO'Neill andthe was asceticism. fromthe conventions partialliberation the Patersonsilk In addition to these models of class interaction.spiritual. exemplified dramatic textthat and producedan expressive. from "vitalcontact"differed female Not surprisingly. revolutionary the force behind As the is stillactively pagbeing interpreted. The Paterson sciousnessand in the history events fromthe Patersonstrikeas a way of reenacted Pageant-which the violent of the classwar and raising moneyforthe reality publicizing workers an coalition between innovative strikefund-forged striking ideal of societal a fascinating and leisure-class intellectuals.James standard to Roosevelt'sbehavioral argued directly life"while implicitly indeed is the strenuous that"poverty admonishing and conmeasuresof social worth.Harvardgraduate Village radical JohnReed exerted 523 . turn-ofof wealth that characterized the obscene acquisition demning financecapitalism. kind of a different for its devotees sociologicalauthority. revitalization. cautioning againstmaterial snobbery. theatrical of crossof 1913 producedan influential workers' strike display career. classinteraction period of O'Neill's dramatic duringtheformative and the class intellectuals The Paterson strike Bohemian working brought Madison on the of Garbefore 20.

" whichReed actedin. enormous on public in particular ofthestrike and influence perceptions theclass warin general. tough society" in Reed'sPaterson as visible an influence in as it is O'Neill's experience lifeand early laterO'Neill acknowledged thatit was early plays.Thustheartistic laborators at Provincetown werein somewayderivative ofPaterson.9 probthemost member in 1916. in Glaspell stances ofbothofO'Neill'smajor col250).Patrick Chura J. pageant infinitely complicated. thesummer of1915. lower-class elements of a drive that is (Rosenstone 250). actually theeffort or not solidarity.Whether like Reed the their realized it at exertions caused time. ensuring awaited in 1916 was a highly O'Neill at Provincetown class-conscious ofpolitically artists whowere to the group engaged particularly receptive notion ofdramatizing Reed himself was working-class experience." curiously eye-witness the of Paterson is not coincidental. into"whatthetheater be" (Glaspell 250). Reed'splayFreedom was in in Provincetown the same summer as O'Neill's authorial performed debutin "Bound East forCardiff.8 A number ofthefounding members oftheProvincetown had Players in or present beeninvolved at thePaterson that what Pageant." The pageant's artistic success was undeniable. enthralled at thePaterson himinsight whichhe saidhad given Pageant.Two before the had Cook sat years founding Players."The Paterson Strike thewayfor theProvincetown Pageant prepared plays" (Egan106).Years Reed'sinfluence him that first to brought Provincetown. but the assumptions been which Reed's Paterson intervention had were predicated upon In the more financial for terms. Reed and Cook were might in theProvincetown to believe" ideaofan experimental "thefirst Players' theater that wouldprovide "vitaldrama" "thepassion of by portraying theprimitive Thatsuchlanguage resembles group. organizers fully 524 . Cook descriptions Pageant perhaps hadreferred to thepageant as"thefirst laborplay" andprofusely praised the"feeling withthestrikers ofoneness" that Reed had conveyed (qtd. mayhavebeen evenmoreharmful.he wasthegroup's ofthePlayers ably dynamic andauthor coleader ofthePlayers' constitution. (Rosenstone 248). In terms of "O'Neill shared with Reed that drive to rubelbows with the personality. in terms wasa fiasco that thestrike ofstriker lostmoney for fund.he didso coalition thePlayers' artistic who hadorganized in thegroup's first season director.'o WhileReed was"particularly in developing instrumental thePlayers" in withGeorgeCram"Jig" Cook. As atleast one historian ofAmerican theater hasnoted. example.

The atmosphere in the wharftheater. early Judgingby Eugene O'Neill seems to have been these In his early O'Neill repeatextremely intrigued by questions.Thetidewas demanded.The O'Neill's actions. thatwould have both troubledthe pageantand edly exploredsituations the of the settlement movement-situationsthat complicated thinking that the harsh lessons from Paterson. spraying through the us and the the flavor of sea" floor. suggested along with the practical the Hull limitations of House paradigm of"vitalcontact.just the holes in the in.and it washed underus and around. the relationbetween O'Neill's personal"vital contact"and the deeper theorization of identically situatedclass issuesin his earlydrama is definedby disillusionment-disillusionment to engendered by a willingness confront the contradictions and potentially effects of cross-class negative interaction. 525 . it is likely that hispersonalactionswereultimately to thecause deleterious of the strikers.14Moreover. plays. in the classstruggle? What are the realeffects-for both downclasser and working-class subject-of classbarrier transgression? his career. a middle-classradical/dramatist first cross classesand "be" a seamlessly theninterpret workers' livesin waysthatultimately aided them worker.recreated the feelingof a ship at sea:"There was a as the script and a fogbell in theharbor. As Glaspell "the people who had seen the plays.and public discourseexplicitly accept theviability of"vitalcontact" as a methodof both self-realization and social progress. giving rhythm (254). This formulaseems not but also to the applicable onlyto O'Neill's auditionin Provincetown O'Neill work premiereveningof"Bound East for Cardiff"-the first ever produced-on 28 July1916.public persona. hisplaysbetray lesssanguineconclusions. fog. has referred to O'Neill's role as authorof the earlyGlenJoel Pfister cairnplaysas thatof a "tour guide" fora middleand upper classthatwas "fascinated by exhibitsof 'exotic' workers"(109). and the people who gave indicates. other.12Though Reed himself came to embody an example of classcooperationthatis still in legendary theannalsof theAmericanLeft." were ultimately not lost on the self-proclaimed result is thatwhile sailor-playwright.13 Foremostamong the problematic lessonsadumbrated at Patersonwas the crucial indication-clear in hindsight but apparently not to the Patersonactivists-of the impracticability of politicalunion betweenthelaboringclassand sympathetic Could bourgeoisintellectuals. notes Susan Glaspell.Class Working EugeneO'Neill andthe and a loss of moraleamong the workers enormousdisharmony theyhad meant to help.

accuraterendering ofworking-class As Pfister has noted." them. in Glaspell 252) and radicalsocial theory.Eric Schocket describesthisprocessas "middleclassangstcuredby proletarian pain" (121). a new typeof dramawith a focus on the working-class subject as its crucial element.In the play. a formof whichwas of O'Neill's inherent also in the Paterson recollections Pageant. thatbegan withthisplayas a milestone in the developincetownPlayers mentofAmericandrama..suggests the correspondence between "Jig"Cook termed"nativeart" (qtd. Several criticshave viewed the play as a turningpoint in theater and the long-term collaboration betweenO'Neill and the Provhistory.. I have neversatbeforea more saythe old wharf theplay'scatharsis movingproduction"(254).we feltthe motion and windy. with considered O'Neill's self-identification as a along what Reed and common seaman.The spectators What thespectators saw was"a kindofrealism and naturalism unexplored on theAmericanstage"(Pfister 109). 526 .O'Neill's lifein the stifling forecastle depictionof the lonelylasthoursof a sailor's the lower class life and the idiom to American "brought stage" (109).the play confirmed of theoutward markers of thelaboringclass-a classidentificasumption dubious-was not shallow or exteriorbut deep. together.15The artistic merits of the workstemfromits under treatment of emotions lower-class conditions and its plausible tragic dialect.Kemp "we heard the actual recalls. we sharedthe of theirlives. tion previously judged and to move middle-class audiences.Patrick J. Like the PatersonPageant. wave beaten urge of reality a ship" (96). players the playgoingexperienceas describedby Glaspellindicatesthe waysin which O'Neill's dramasatisfied the needs of a middle classseekingselfvalidationin the laboringclass.Chura were adventurers werepartof thePlayers.Glaspell's in of the are similar to famous accounts curiously vocabulary premier emotionaleffect of the pageant:"It is not merelyfigurative language to shook withapplause.Whilethe visceral. For the Provincetown thatO'Neill's asgroup. speech of men who go to sea. among Consideringthe receptionof O'Neill's earlysubjectmatter but also the wharftheater not only the Provincetown audience. The play'ssetting.. what impressed the group about O'Neill had more to do with the illusion thatthisplayfostered-the creationof a formof sharedexperience betweenthe classes. genuineenough playwright's adopted sailor'sclothingwas certainly partof the equation.

" lowing the audience to experiencea substitute of livesis Thus O'Neill's propitious sailor's merging garbwithsailors' in It indicate his first foothold that. Tom has troublefinding a tenablepositionon either side of the classwar.In any case. did both.Tom is the pictureof vacillating radicalcommitment. a stoker on an ocean linerand witnesses a for preparations generalstrike in Liverpool.The labor activist Enwrightnotes thathe "isn'tour Tom's motivesto eitherhis love forthe beautiful type"(8) and attributes fellowradicalOlga or a puerile combinationof"curiosity" and "craving foradventure. is Tom Perkins.Like the middle-class radicalsat Paterson. This play suggests the degree to which O'Neill."or about one yearbeforehis arrival in Provincetown.Class Working EugeneO'Neill andthe of itsaesthetic would have been a joint function powerand itsrole in alformof"vital contact. note of defiancecreepingin as ifhe were fighting an inwardembarrassment and was determinedto live it down" (8)." When the playopens. It was thereforhis opening" (254) asserts the central of the sailor's world-the locus of the author's importance personalencounterwith the lower classes-among O'Neill's distinguishing artistic innovations. It may suggestthatat thisstage of his career. by college boy" (9). from in the politicalmeaning the inceptionof his career." completed about the same time he wrote"Bound East. the in is several a of the protagonist ways self-portrait youngO'Neill (Floyd 90). Among the radicalsof the IWE. Tom's experience in the play is similarto O'Neill's: he is the same and he shipsas age as O'Neill would have been in theplay's1911 setting. gaining problematic.as O'Neill did in his first sea voyage. a middle-class college dropoutwho has become a radical labor activist as a memberof the International Workersof the Earth Described O'Neill as "a broken-down (IWE). Tom's love forOlga has 527 . as O'Neill's stage directions "His manneris one of boyishly naive enthusiasm with a certain indicate. had been interested and psychological effects The centralcharacter of cross-class interaction.Glaspell'sobservation that"The sea has been good to Eugene O'Neill. O'Neill presagedand intentionally accommodatedhis audience's desireto formlower-classaffiliations. Equation. may professional in Provincetown. O'Neill genuinelyaccepted certainpremisesof It maymean thathe "vital contact"as an ideal formof classinteraction. An equallyimportant but rarely considered documentfrom O'Neill's early career is the unpublishedand unperformed play "The Personal one of first dramatic O'Neill's efforts.

16 who is intent on smashing theship's to whichtheelder Perkins engines. led himintotheinner circle oftheIWE.17 lovefor theengines andhislovefor hisson. The climactic moment theplay of engineer. Tomdisguises himself as a workerand rejectsthe bourgeois moral code. andthemother of nurse.Patrick Chura J. ers. Tom'schild. The play's final sceneis in a hospital weeks after theincident. that she loves Tom morethanshe does theclasswarand embraces the traditional socialroles ofmother and caretaker. Ironically.When he wounds hissonin defense oftheengines. feels a strong Perkins is thus forced to choose between his attachment. will all live wife.A doctorexplains to Perkins and Olga that themaimed Tomwillprobably be "likea childfortherest ofhislife"(69)." conflicts that hadalienated them beliesthesocialandpolitical principals from eachother. In "The Personal the finalreconciliation of the three Equation. andthe"great radical leaders" Meanwhile. room."Though Olga callsthem faith in social she withdraws from the radical revolution. he demonstrates hisallegiance to capitalist industrial and purposes capitalist-defined aspirations. He nevertheless the a as prisonment accepts assignment wayof the of his labor-class commitment to himself andto Olga. thevery is second shipon whichhisfather he still does not hesitate. as O'Neill indicates.though warhasbroken outinEurope. characters arereconciled-Tom and Olga as conventional husband and and Tom and Perkins as father and son. where he is informed that the to use himin a project willinvolve that a risk ofimorganization plans or death. only deep personal within theparameters ofa bourgeois realizes society. thedownward that affiliations ofradicals are suggesting as as a need for fulfillment that after available is. proving depth Whenhe learns that thescheme involves thedynamiting oftheengine roomoftheSS San Francisco. They together in thecomfortable middle-class homethat was to be Perkins's wedding toTomandOlga-the homethat. Perkins hasreceived a promotion to chief forthestand he tookagainst thestrikengineer he explains to Olga thathe never intended to harm Tom. lasting personally in order movement tobecome Tom'scaretaker. therevolution in orderto "crushGerman (74) havedecidedto forgo "blind fools" her (75) andexpresses militarism. withwhich sheis pregnant.forexample. Tom in his father a confrontation over control of the pits against engine HereTom's father holdsatbaya crowd ofstrikers led byhisson. but because of deeper 528 . hadbeen present for them all "meant" (70) along. all. Attheplay's theprincipal close. Olga.

have activout." "craving impress a woman who took the side of social revolution. permanent It is interesting to note that Perkins's30-year love for his ship's while capitalist-produced enginesis validatedby the play'sdenouement.by "curiosity. with The Hairy Ape. This dialecticessenpromptings-romantic describes radicalism and tially class-transgressing ideology as temporary and ineffectual for the genuine psychologicalneeds of the substitutes middle class. Tom's affiliation At the end of the play. the contactbetweenclassesintended to result in mutualunderstanding is presentedas a violentconfrontation thatproducesonlyheightened suffering and alienationon both sides of the class divide.though not fully to whatarepositionedas deeperpsychic subordinated dismissed. Olga remarks. Referringto Tom's "he was doing it only forme" (71). Considthat the crux of the divisionbetweenTom and Perkinshad been ering one of classaffiliation-asTom argues.Class Working EugeneO'Neill andthe commitments within his own classmilieu. "you'rein one world and I'm in another"-O'Neill's play ultimately affirms the superiority not only of familialties but of innate. who claimed thathe belonged returned to the comforts of the leiamong the workersbut ultimately sureclass. Not until 1922. at least in part.intrinsic class loyalties over those formedin to the extrinsic ofradicalism. Afterhis radicalism. love and familial affiliation.Tom'srevolutionary complex impulses playedthemselves an becomes as of his real desires and ity recognizable only approximation commitments. would O'Neill develop an inof cross-class relations that the splitbetweenthe reveals terpretation fully of seaman and between the personae playwright. Tom's politicsand the actionsof Reed were motivated. with radicalsis belittled. sailor-poetwho both assumed and acted upon the abilityto translate perceptionacross class boundaries and the more deeply questioningartist who perceivedthe of In disablingparadoxes downclassing expeditions.and the ideals of labor activism are.The downresponse ideologicalpromptings classeris physically maimed.The unmistakable apex of the play'sdramaticaction is a harrowing cross-class encounter-the 529 . he is lessthancompletely viable as a revolutionary." a for and desire to adventure. when what war sees the has done to she class Tom. A similar areapparent in the history and classtrajectory development of the PatersonPageantand JohnReed. Olga profusely apologizes both to him and to his father forleadinghim into the conflict. The HairyApe.

Mildred'semptyposing as a sinceresocial reformer.the socialwho attempts to induceYank to embraceclass consciousness ist activist his experiencein the vocabularyof the classwar.he is a servant of the formof controloverhis environment.." As the action "imprisonedby begins."While what terms his and to the world Miliora relation to labor mayexemplify "feelsrelatively cohea "blissful (419). He is self-aggrandizing. ability As he sees it..Yank has achievedwhat Maria Miliora refers to sense of selfthatenableshim to as "self-cohesiveness" (415).proto-simian white steel. givento outbursts arrogant. where"the ceilingcrushesdown on the men's heads" (121) and the atworkerssuggestbeastsin a cage. de whole "One of us could clean are" asserts: (125). a self-absorbed social a workeron slumming andYank. of superficially reordering bull" that oflaboras "Salvation Army-Socialist Long'stheorization rejects he has heard before. because his selfobject comes from The first assaultonYank'scohesiveness Long. he nevertheless fantasy" grandiose needs are met by his social milieu" (418)... titudesof the stooping. Long's 530 . engine responds the woild moves" (128)..The enabling men dan "We're better is a beliefthathe is superiorto the upper classes.Yank guys up dey Yank's mob wit one mit.Chura face-to-facemeetingbetween Mildred Douglas. sive . As the"most highly to the forecastle.Calling by blanketing "Comrades" (125) who have been made "wage slaves"by the stokers as a way damned socialist "the clarss. Dem boids don't amountto nothin.Patrick J. hairy-chested. expedition." terminology Long offers Capitalist But Yank his Yank's relation to environment.His responseemphasizestwo points.Yank represents developed individual"in the fireman's in the what workers last word stokehole "a self-expression.Yankhas achieved a a positionmorefulfilling modusvivendiwithinthe capitalist than system. him a and he in his to cause the to exults ship move.First.a powerful." The play's opening scene presentslife in the cramped stokehole. a sustaining and withina milieu to which he has adapted both physically function Yank's sense of central construct of well-being emotionally. him: but the also to start "I somepin and ship'sengine. very they to the stokehole and refers are."Yankis the authority among the stokers of as "home" (124).The the confusionthatoccurs in Yank's sense of selfas a resultof Mildred's into the stokeholels-anintrusion intrusion thatepitomizesa potentially harmful and adventuresocial transaction basic to both reform-driven driven "vitalcontact. coal-blackened from meaningof theplayderives engineroom stoker.giving rage.

and a man was and made it one" (126). describesthe now-numbereddaysof sailingvessels. Long failsto influence Yank because his"talk"is insufficient to induceYank to contemplate an interconnected relation betweentheupperand lowerclasses: "What'sdem slobs in the foistcabin got to do wit us?" (125). enough to withstand saultsfrom withinhis own class.Revealingly.experiencing thrills of social service"(131) on New York'sLower East Side. Later in scene 1..."Long is told. Scene 2 introducesand describesMildred Douglas. a "bored" dothe"morbid gooder who has been playingat social work.but her"superiority" (130) is "discontented"and "disdainful" even towardher formidable aunt. part of the ship. a shipwas partof thesea." Like Yank.and thanphysically "the job" that"takes a man" is what "belongs.Makin' speeches" (128).Class Working EugeneO'Neill andthe because it respondsverballyrather view involvesa loss of masculinity to materialconditions: "Talk is cheap.Not needing the wind and the sun to which Paddy refers. Long is called cowardly and reminded that"we don't need no ." Mildredis now on herway to Englandon a journeyherauntrefers to as a "slumminginternational.and the sea joined all together Yank's responseis to claim an identity thathe admitsis "new stuff" but no less he because feels himself a partof apparently spiritually satisfying the engines. Paddy nostalgically when "men belongedto ships.Yank'scontemptforLong's "Slaves. she is outwardly arrogant about the position-a credentialed workerforsocial reform-thatshe has achievedwithinher own milieu. outlook therefore stemsfromits implicitdenial of his superiorrelation to thehigher-ups on the social scale. Long's socialism involvesan unwelcome recognitionof the inherentpowerlessness of the laboring class-a cancellationofYank's fantasy of cohesiveness: hell! We run de whole woiks" (129). one cryin' over us .ThusYank's Long:"I belong being in scene 1 in a manufactured allowshim both to function and to be a "man" security to himself-an insular one but tenable asposition. the IrishmanPaddy attempts to awakenYank to anotheressential feature of modern working-class life-alienation from contactwith a naturalenvironment as a result of technological progress. Second. The conversation between the two women on the promenadedeck 531 . ." Under Yank's direction. Yank resolvesto "eat up the coal dust"and dismisses Paddy as he does and he don't" state of (128). and who is attempting to use her influenceas the daughter of a steelmagnateto arrangea tourof the ship'sstokeholein orderto "see how the otherhalf lives.

...by way. essentials abouttheclass as O'Neill pictured it atthepeakof relationship withtheProvincetown hiscreative association Players. exAs thenumerous disdainful allusions to Mildred as a "skoit" (for of at the issues bothclass andgender are coreofthe ample142) confirm..Chura a strongly viewofMildred andindirectly ofthemotives suggests cynical of the female settlement workers who wereconspicuous in theplay's the early-twentieth-century setting." ofthesea. attempting being"(Floyd particulars in which Yankis victimized aboutthemanner we ascertain byMildred. Mildred's claims of her aunt Despite sincerity. andwhichYank ship's engine givesYank is in theprocess ofservicing as Mildred is notonlyfigured as intrudes..Patrick J. Described to thenatural environment by O'Neill in relation and disharmonious... 532 . The crucialmoment of theplayis the brief scene3 but intense in thestokehole confrontation between Mildred andYank. inert As the directions Mildred's for and indicate. Conflict perception socialworkpracticed is actually a form ofpredation on the byMildred lowerclasses. In general the effect on is twofold: it himpainfully Yank "makes terms. "How they must havehated the the that in made so much you.Mildred is"incongruous . poor you poorer their eyes" thusderives from theaunt's that thetypeof (131). to psychological deficiencies including sponse to touch She enters thestokehole becauseshe"wouldliketo be sincere.The that hisidentity. scornfully refers to heras "artificial" and a "poser" in (130) in hersocialconcern herexpressed desire to find a "newthrill" and"touch life" the byvisiting stokehole. and suddenly awareof hissocialinferiority conscious of hisinadequaIn ciesas a human fathom to 241). her . sling her!"(135).Duringthis Yank"feelshimself O'Neill's stagedirections indicate that encounter. theauntstates. indicated byYank's repeated her . For herpart. in someunknown in thevery insulted fashion heart ofhispride"(137).. encounter. itinto trow it into open up! belly! letherhaveit!. Mildred seekscontact withthelowerclasses in order to enhance hersocialservice credentials butas a renotsimply sublimated sexualdesires.. sincerity stage possibilities empathy havebeen"bredout of her"by an effete classwithneither nor vitality class whoseostensibly ameliorative deefforts integrity-a onlyfurther gradethepoor.. Effectively foreshadowing transaction between Mildred andYank. activity unequivocally bears sexualact-a fact that connotations ofa frenzied insistently strong exhortations to "pilesomegrubin her. is "she" the focus of tumultuous but also feminine.

emotionalparleybetween them. exchange thatcould not but reproduceseveraltypesof psychic and social power disparities-for which rape is an apt metaphor. delicate" (130) Mildredappearsdressed in white.Andreachtheorizes Concerning thisbipolar classrelation. as Andreachpointsout.Yank is bewildered since he cannotunderstand what motivates and why she would Mildred. I've fallenin hate. dat's what.Having been interrupted in his furimasculinity ous and sexuallychargedstokingof the engine.As he awakenshis love changesto hatredbecause she him" (53).The "reality" she seeks through a downclassing foray eludes her."She lacks sexual energyof the kind thatflowsnaturally from Yank and permeates In thestokehole. "Love.Yank's higher. at the centerof cross-class contact.get me?" Paddy'sremark that"Twould takea wise man to tellone from the other"elucidates thepotentially ambivalent destructive. interaction. her"whole personality" is "crushed"in the stokehole.huh?"(142). Hell! Hate.Paddy taunts Yank with having"fallen in love" with Mildred.Yank cannotknow that in seeking"reality" Mildred is drivenby the same need forcohesiveness thatcompels him.pale. 533 ."slender.as O'Neill could be comprehended transacrealized.Yank retorts. By herverypresence.She's new to higher me." a searchforidentity promptedby the complex awakeningor awareness arousedby Mildred. MildredawakensYank to thepurrejects of life labor-class withoutoffering therealchanceof anything poselessness After the encounter.Class EugeneO'Neill andthe Working lifesomewhere"(131).Yank's his everymovement.What does a skoitlike her mean. she seemsan attenuated feminine entity. At menacing themoment of their "he glares intohereyes. his eyesbore into her. fury "changes fromthatof a spurnedlover to thatof a betrayed His quest is questor.Yankturnsa gaze upon Mildredthatis physically and suggestive of sexualpenetration..." As O'Neill indicates. relationship Robert J. "naked and shameless" (137) is appallingto Mildred.what she seeksin the stokehole. undoubtedly by the cross-class an tion. awakenhim to a reality thanhimself: "I don'tgether. one whose vitality has been "sapped beforeshe was conceived. turned to stone. This relationis further emphasized by the surrounding group of who witness the Yank-Mildred encounter and sense a deep workers. When the anemic. thatYank feelslove forMildredbecause she has"descendedintohisworld to awaken him.and she is insteaddeeplyharmedby her awareness of Yank. That the symbolicrapeYank enactsdestroys both him and her-that theirvictimization is mutual-is a figurative indicationof the depth of effect and potentialtraumathat.

asking I belong?" Yank's interaction here is not with anotherworkerbut with For a radicalintellectual whose politicscome fromthe IWW manifesto. cap. and the contrast the real workerthisis anotherupwardclassencounter. political rejectedbyYank: "Votes forwomen .Yankadmitsthathe seeks another dungarees"(144) and a fireman's encounterwith Mildred's"kind" (145) in orderto "get even with her. In an of the worker a basic lack of understanding exchange thatunderscores Yank's desire to "fix tings"(158) through class. The playmaybe viewed as a cross-class disruptive with draseriesof calculatedtrespassings of classboundaries. Yank In contrast and and are to his (144) "trespassers." Yank to socialist Throughoutthe scene.Patrick J." gentleman" of the Industrial Workers of theWorld Scene 7 is located at a chapter "Can't yousesee nearthe city's waterfront. among the intellectual violence and sabotageis viewed as a "wrongslant" secretary." contactin the drama.however. betweenYank and the secretary in spoken dialectand social philosophy is nearlyas pronounced as that encounteredon FifthAvenue. (145).Yank seeksmembership..Scene 5 findsYank and Long on NewYork's Fifth where"the adornments of extreme wealthare tantalizingly Avenue.Long again triesto indoctrinate ideals and which are summarily vocabulary. While Mildred's intrusioninto the stokehole stages the disabling it is not the only example of psychologically paradox of "vital contact.. the rich because the barriertransgression of thestokehole and onto Fifth The changein setting--out Avenue-enables the upper-class (147) to remainoblivious to "gaudy marionettes" Yank's presence. punctuated thatare recognizable as paradigms in the maticsituations of social conflict era in which O'Neill wrote.Though thereis cross-class hereas in scene 2. by the IW\XW IWW determination the Yank is.Even directphysicalcontactbetweenYank and a "fat (149) is "as ifnothinghas happened. dat'sme!" (147).Force." displayed" Long he which describes as "too clean and and dolled quiet up" surroundings. in "dirty dressed as a stoker unshaven.Yank is coveredin coal dust. and seekinga concretesolutionin orderto "square tings" and intellectually toYank'ssubreacts The IWW official bureaucratically 534 .Chura That relations betweenlaborerand downclasser are inevitably destructive the underscores waysthatdownclassing are not exemptfromthe forays thatcreateclassdisparity in the first identicalpower relations place. literally espoused onlytaking direct action" of societyby legitimate "to changethe unequal conditions with Mildred. thereis no interaction betweenYankand juxtaposition is not downwardbut upward.

The affinity physical is explicit: at thegorilla. Gawdblind'em." Mildred anarmy stands for ofmiddleandupper-class womenwho worked in settlement houses andstrived for socialprogress contact with lower-class In life.Yank experiences of therapidly socialenvironment of early twentieth ingaffects shifting America" whichboth"progressive" social (Miliora century 416). thetruecondition ofthe"primitive" andalleges theproduction ofinjuriousrageand confusion within theintrusion's this is subject. Placedwithin itshistorical TheHairy be understood context.Whereas cagedgorilla monkey downward intrusion into Yank's realm had destroyedYank's self-concept and"crushed" the"personality" of theslumming "Yank's inreformer. The through philanthropic Hairy Ape.Class EugeneO'Neill andthe Working anarchism andto hisexpectation ofanti-industrial action. jective wrongly thatYank is an "agent Avenue (159).Yank's gorilla's cage.Throughoutplay." In interviews hisearly O'Neill hadoften relied on career.thesettlement service credentials. remarks. thecentral oftheplay."There's a 'ole mob Longrefers of'em likeher.IftheFifth concluding provocator" see Yank at to the IWW see Yank to for fail all. play productive association with theProvincetown under and Cook'sleadership group Jig theculmination ofO'Neill'searly career. anditis theproblem ofall class-crossing problem efforts as O'Neill has come to understand themthroughout his early drama and up to TheHairy the that marks his last Ape.Yank "I wasyouto her"(161). The play's final sceneportrays an encounter between Yank and a in "the house the of Zoo" Mildred's (160). fails capitalists secretary whathe is. Arguably. "progressive" suppositions express purpose doing so he had voiceda socialtheory to that whichmotivates quitesimilar 535 .This ideology ideology is exemplified worker with"social by Mildred Douglas. looking it is onlyin theplay's interactions and class Significantly. throughout to the of his in and art. Mildred's into Yank's underscores theintruder's failure to countenance stokehole.the socialist to this multitude whenhe warns.among and "drastic distinctions in social class" are crucial. Apemay as O'Neill'sdrastic reevaluation ofbothhisadventurous downpersonal ethos and of the reform-driven "vital contact" endemic to the classing 1910s the "the disorientplay's setting. downclassing barrier that real action and interaction are transgressions psychological entrance into the like descent precipitated. trusion intotheworldin whichthegorilla is kingalsobrings abouthis destruction" between thetwoscenes (Ranald281).

originally by personified "understanding" destroyed by the process of cross-class Mildredin the stokehole. cultural and of the settlement Lears has analyzedthe central movement. But as O'Neill meticulously exploresthe classparadoxesof the earlytwentieth centuryin The HairyApe. to the themselves to accommodate and herfollowers "began unwittingly of"uncin an attitude of resulting system organized capitalism. and intense class for more of her own the experience longings "paralleled was in a way a projectionof those longings"(80)."As became convinced theycould revitalize working-class to shareexperiencewithlower classes thishappened." corporate is reflected versionof such an attitude an exaggerated tuouspaternalism.Yank theworkerbecomes "a mereobject of the which were historical process.If.reformers Determined to revitalize turnof the century.Patrick Chura J. life" a "fuller for to create its with attempts workers.In The thatunderliethe historical "social progress" setting forces become social agentsof a harmful progressive Hairy Ape. Mildred Douglas to visit the stokehole (see for example Bird).. lives as well. capitalist Addams in The HairyApe with painstaking precision." Under O'Neill's control.being and." "began to shift of as "a key momentin the re-formation thisshift Lears identifies that dissects it a shift O'Neill and is cultural hegemony"(80). key points"(81). As Lears notes." in Mildred."The at the recoil fromovercivilized pervaded the ethos of reform gentility theirown lives.J. TheHairy teraction disfiguration" Ape gives but not a pattern of progression of the concept of progress.as Lears asserts." 536 .Her manipulationof capitalist by drawing power relations in orderto acquire access to the stokehole as a millionaire on her status withmodernindustrial to as a "compromise whatLearsrefers epitomizes of the most relevant this For at . an thus us "ironic in scene 3. he seriouslyquestionsthe basic preceptsof of the drama. pursuingher desireto "touch lifesomewhere.Jackson Ape. factory JaneAddams..ostensibly and Mildred'sinassaulton lower-class Primarily throughYank selfhood. goals of of which Mildredis a repfocusedsocial serviceefforts the downwardly foundedby thewaysin which the movement Lears describes resentative. being imprisonedin the verystructures alienated and must him" we serve intended to add. capitalism into lower-class these compromisesis that of treating forays voluntary as Mildred does in conditionsas "a source of therapeutic revitalization.the focusof efforts from socialjustice to personalfulfillment. analysis. "dramatizing of regression" (Zapf 36). historian The Hairy In waysthatilluminate T.

he seemsto haveunderstood like Mildred's cross-class interventions but also a potentially injurious his and adventure-driven oversimplification underlying own youthful In acts3 and 4 of thisplay. as Lears intrusions.Class Working EugeneO'Neill andthe is transformed defeat for interaction into a crushing such therapeutic Mildred's ethic ofsocialprogress. who creates exploitation. and seems to attend both real fictional of classrepresentations persistently in theperiod. In act4 ofLong forming Day's thesocially Edmundextols effects ofhis"vitalconJourney. Edmund hasrecently from a slumreturned adventure at sea where he has his health while ming apparently damaged a rudimentary socialist class consciousness.O'Neill suggests not as mitigated existence butas exacerbated and viewsthisalienation At the Hull House LaborMuseum. into in Long Night By thetimeO'Neill beganwriting Day'sJourney not onlythe ineluctable harmof 1939. In TheHairy thestark alienation oflower-class Ape. significance have that a role in their ultimately played legitimizing jobs-a process may an awareness inYankof what FromMildred." claiming hisfather: foundout what hardwork and littlepay was.19 ReadingEdmund waysuggests that theEugeneO'Neill oftheearly 1910shad imbibed a spirit ofclass that his in colored of class interaction idealistic antagonism perceptions shades. self-knowledge. pouses young Eugene father thesocialconclusions Tyrone James just as persuasively expresses reached this bythemature playwright. pernicious malignant incompatible subjective needs.ever 537 . Edmund es"vitalcontact. LikeO'Neill in 1912." Tyrone clearly the social theories of the while Edmund's O'Neill.Yank gains The of ambivalent identical ambivalence which effect. a similarly he actually doesin theshipandwho he actually is.Papa. and innovative aboutO'Neill's method of interaction Whatis striking classes is notsimply that itportrays an impossibility ofsynthesis between and downclassers but that "vitalcontact" between workers becomesa and with the workers' force. productive it hasenabled that himto relate moresympathetically to tact.and God. thatof thePaterson crossing including Pageant-which the "exhibited" and destitute workers on stageof an opulent starving while harmto the strike pleasure irreparable capitalist palace causing in TheHairy itself-isby O'Neill bothconcretized and corrected Ape. by upper-class learned thehistorical and industrial workers oftheir notes.and what it felt sinceI wentto sea andwason myown.

Oh.. But it was a game. and camp on parkbenchesbecause I had no place to sleep." presumably of "vitalcontact"-reflective his father. Edmund's temporary Tyrone downclassing pride "a game of romance and adventure"(146-47). what you'd been up against (109) Tyronerealizes.You've had food. not of reform-oriexcursionare utterly negative. Edmund'scrude theorization off of a period when O'Neill's classviews were at an embryonic stage-is thusframed with ironicrejoinders. hell you do! . excursionbefore learn the physical price of the young man'sslumming of "workinghisway all overthe mapsas a sailor.Chura like to be broke. and starve. I know you had a flingof hardworkwithyourback and hands..thathis own childhood had been essentially different fromEdmund'sadventures-"There was no damned romance its in our poverty"-and asserts thereis no way Edmund can understand actual consequences: The You said you realizedwhat I'd been up againstas a boy....Patrick J. Edmund's "ruined health" living in filthy (33) is attributed by Tyroneto the "mad life"he has led "ever since he fromcollege"-a lifecenteredaroundformative was fired downclassing the of the As in The downclassing Hairy Ape. Tyrone'schildhood in enableshim to discernthe pretense of his son'svolunauthentic poverty offers a Edmund's brother also perceptive taryprivation.. Jamie appraisal thatalthoughEdmund has "had the gutsto go offon when he remarks to live his own" (35). the"stunt" the mast. It was play.. .That theyare the result male counterpart ented female"vital contact"but its adventure-driven assertion thatwiththisplayO'Neill "renouncedthe Alexander's supports 538 . dives.a bit of being in a foreign homelessand penniless land. The two key crisesof the Day's ourney into addiction and the diagnosisof drama-Mary's relapse morphine results ofEdmund'sdownclassing Edmund'sconsumption-are the direct The dramaunfoldson the veryday he and the otherTyrones adventure.drinkingrotgut"(35). (110) ordeal and AlthoughEdmund expressesnostalgiafor his self-imposed as in its views effects..clothing. consequences experiences..however.I've triedto be fairto you because I knew as a kid. forthevaluesof his own classand his comBut Edmund'scontempt to Long the workingclassare as central to share with experience pulsion as theyare to O'Neill's earlyart. he "alwayscame home broke finally.

encouraged him. Itis to O'Neill'scredit that hisdrama a internalizabespeaks growing hisacceptance tionofthelessons ofPaterson.there is a qualitative difference theact ofescorting between a middle-class audienceintotheforecastle to experience thepathos of a common in"BoundEastforCardiff" seaman's death and escorting an audience intothestokehole fortheharrowing encounter between Mildred and the ape. 539 . divide. the into canonical drama ofEugeneO'Neill and undeniably extending thebeginnings ofAmerican theater atProvincetown. him to articulate his and (Gelb 315).. downclassing questioning claimed his"realstart as a dramatist" camewhen that O'Neill often he "gotoutofan academy sea" andamong on the men.This seemscredible.. may oftheworking class us lessabouttheactual work"tells representation for ing class. thanaboutwhatO'Neill wantedthisclassto signify him"(114). supported analysis conjecture Reed'sPaterson as an artistic influintriguing centrality ofJohn Pageant ence."This onWorkers Theatre influence hasbeenunderestimated. asserted.Class Working EugeneO'Neill andthe that involved a severe ideasofhisyears ofrevolt" 61).The "embraced and O'Neill. andthat after atProvincehe went on to question thevery class that that town facilitated philosophy it be Pfister While as has O'Neill's that true. persuasiveness in O'Neill'sattitude toward "vital contact" oran acknowledgment change oftheimpermeable nature It is also a ringing ofclassbarriers.a process (Tempering ofhisownandhisgeneration's impulse. from thePaterson porally andso another involves the bythis Pageant. acceptance.justifying therecognition ofthepageant as a meaningful event inAmerican literary history. (qtd. jerseyand sailor's plays it is unlikely that he wouldhaverealized theimportant acprofessional of in and like-minded Provceptance encouragement experimentalists Provincetowners incetown.Cosgrove hasnoted that the"association ofworker andintellectual" first formed "became a at Paterson traditional and crucial influence (265) inAmerica.in Downes forwithout hissailor's 10)." Douglas "hairy of O'Neill's early The Lookingat the development playsthrough it easier to understand father Hairy Apemakes whyEdmund's James Tyronegetsthecondemnatory lastwordon hisson'sslumming adventures in Long doesnotsimply a indicate Tyrone's Day'sJourney. recognithe"gameof romance and adventure" tionthat involves consequences moreharmful eventhan Edmund's on bothsides oftheclass tuberculosis.Temhelped crystallize philosophy" itis notfar to Provincetown andideologically.

Players Though newmember's ofhisfuture worth to "dubious oftheir anddoubtful ability the a book of one-act but them" O'Neill showed (95). Josiah Bowery. imitators. Margaret as an unskilled and 4. in Provincetown the locates however. Cranemadecelebrated Stephen incognito numerous sketches" sionsintotheNewYork slums. 540 . materially acknowledged paid a while O'Neill have looked like claims that wardhiscase. (96). allowance. remembers the Mexicanrevolution for thesakeoffilming Kemp andfull ofpreposterous hokum" bad. in 1902 The the Ghetto and thelower and"criminal" classes.See also playas"frightfully Loftus Ranald 506. "The wascalled 3.The first to theProvincetown playO'Neill offered group finances an American filmmaker who a MovieMan." vagaKemp may he wasactually still thegroup wasaware that bondworker. me intovital conlife: wouldat once bring lowerclass "Poverty.). "enoughto keephimunder alive"(97). 2. numerous madewell-publicized intosweatshops forays inspiring excurIn themid-1890s. Lendley Blackhasdated thephotograph from before O'Neill arrived 1911. butitsemphatic indication ofO'Neill'sbifurcated cation is central to myessay. graduate Hapgood."a one-act about play itsbattles. youth ofstudies andsketches of with a collection Flynt published Tramping Tramps. of publishing Spirit a in 1903. to thecrowded ofthe Abyss People Lee Simonson is widely to 5. life" Russia.Patrick Chura J.trite (96). Pfister. usein print sobutitsrepeated havecoinedtheterm byPrinceton entitled The in an 1896nonfiction narrative Walter Wyckoff ciology professor the inReality contradicts this Workers:An notion. Harvard andradical socialist believed student in 1908. From1888to 1894. "vagabond into madefrequent a Harvard and Globe forays reporter. Hutchins in and the United States.Western Europe. Harry that thePlayers identified O'Neill as middle class. in contributed The Also London 1903.The exactlocation ofthephoto class identifiis notcrucial. supported byhis and shelter who senthima small father.Jack of Thief Autobiography field of"down-and-outer" chronicles.Wyckoff explained Experiment into himself as a laborer andvoluntarily for motivation descending disguising I hadthought. easily Kemprecalls was at first O'Neill "had been a it said" the were sailor.NellieBlydisguised herself worker andfactories. (n.Joel photoin Provincetownandoffers the"late1910s" as itsdate(9).pag. "city including producing of in Misery." whichdetailed thetemporary transformation "An Experiment In a or "hobo" of the a middle-class into "bum" 1899.When group plays also that he had them this "did not forfor himself. Notes 1.

" Reed applied as part ofa broadpolitical discussion that called in socialism for a morerelevant curriculum that wouldinclude courses and theschoolinto"vital contact" withtheclass struggle. stunningly effective as drama. gaveup all hismiddle-class solidarity advantages who evensacrificed hislifeto theRevolution" Reed'sactions (127).Reed "sincerely an imaginative desired withworkers intimacy and peasants . he unwittingly a latenineteenth-century strove to maintain followed parabehavior" (96). Rosenstone attributes the Robert tact withthevery poor"(1: 16).Actually onlyonce in thearticle. 'revolutionary' American audiences andartists their to advertise culture.Eugene O'Neill and theWorkingClass A. to be simply who for withtheworking class. Reed hasbeencalledthe"Byronic hero"(Kazin216) ofpre-World WarI in Mosradicalism..Bothscholars in in an article in the 1908 Harvard locatetheterm's Advocate.Morerecently. IWW leader Elizabeth described thepageant as"themost Gurley Flynn in thelasthalf beautiful andrealistic of art that has been on example put stage in Nochlin the "a event the ofradicalls pageant major (215).James whenO'Neill "repudiated .. thevalues hisparents ofthemiddle-class lifestyle .Stuart stirring staged cites the7 June1913 dateofthePaterson as"thefirst Pageant Cosgrove significant datein thehistory oftwentieth American Workers Theatre" century Stansell "an attraction observes that thepageant to (265). bringing ifonlyby in modern drama. innovative intotheuniversity's dramatic to refer to theneedto introduce plays thus theschool "intovital contact withallthat is significant repertory. pageant" was"perhaps in theGarden" themost event ever (435). January origin their whichSimonson "excoriated bothstudents andfaculty for indifference to themodern andthevital forces to change theproblems world striving racking it"(Rosenstone Simonson usedtheterm 43). directly quoting theterm sance. Robinsonnotes contact" that byname. andpolitical spectacle propaganda" hassuggested that the"mammoth LouisSheaffer (67).. in hisunpublished 1912essay "Harvard RenaisSimsonson.. phrase origcoinage Lee Simonson" inated dissident withtheHarvard (Stansell 355). AsWalter BatesRideoutargues.Christine epitomized and'political' art" that "wouldhenceforth runthrough modern. digmofmasculine 7.Whilenotreferring to"vital A. From hisparticipation at Paterson in 1913until hisdeath cow in 1920.Praising in laborconflicts at Paterson andLudlowandin later revolutions in political 541 . leading enlightened with solidarities 'thepeople'"(150).. 8.. century" history cal theater .. a passionate identification withtheoppressed" (Leach33)." Reed gavethephrase a wider John significance. Reed was"theprototype oftheadventurous young who refused American intellectual a vagabond. bring 6.. Historian as Stansell: "The of the to does Christine term Simonson.

is a riddle" O'Neill case.Max Eastman. Jack anylonger" thePaterson that vowed "wouldnever images pass Among UptonSinclair from "with his Reed as pageant director.is provided andBarbara whichbeganin Greenwich Village byArthur that O'Neill mayactually haveaccompanied Reed Gelb. including Hairy Ape. may ways John may that followed strike."the publicity gained Gurwaspurchased at thecostoftheworkers' (Tripp156). whenitwasrevealed the after almost wasdisastrous to striker Second. concluding. "Whether..When earlier from the a playandhadbeendischarged onlyfour days yetto write in where Farm he had Sanatorium Connecticut. .. O'Neill stories ofhiswildyouth. Pageant The O'Neill'sProvincetown HeatonVorse. ofthefriendship Reed and O'Neill.Chura Patrick J. wasequally taken in the that O'Neill hadwitnessed or shared 11.The mostdetailed account between in 1914. began pageant.Mary MabelDodge.Hutchins SusanGlaspell.andhismoodycharm. (263)..Floyd Ida Rauh. thedisappointment thecauseofthePaterson hurt First. in theranks" thepageant diverted discord (217) andthat "The first scabsgotintothePaterson moreimportant workofthestrike: mills for thepageant. in were at Paterson andinvolved and also Kemp present Hapgood. Dell. apparatus 542 . treatment for five months under tuberculosis.As several historians haveasserted. In Reed and admired each Mexico . 10. immediately solidarity.Elizabeth unity" created "much claimed that leyFlynn jealousiesoverrolesin thepageant attention from . Harry Provincetown. all historical accounts that thepageant hadlostmoney." whileworkers weretraining in thePaterson strike intervention 13. leftist leader MichaelGold hadreverently proclaimed that "there wasno gapbetween Reed andtheworkers (154).AlongwithReed andGeorgeCram"Jig" listincludes Robert Cook. plays. any first in 1914: was with from their "Reed enchanted other [O'Neill's] meeting hisadventures at sea.shouting through megaphone.TheGelbsspeculate abouttheMexicanRevoluto Mexicoin 1914whileReed wasreporting in fact. agree." to serve 9.As well-intentioned as histemporary have that Reed's actions have there were several been.this the and several who the sets for Paterson of Edmund designed Jones. drilling as captains ofthemass. MexicoandMoscow. spent Gaylord Wallingford. and Fifth millionaire as strike to Reed the crumble. from thepageant 12.Thisis notto suggest directly thepageant tookplaceon 7 June1913. withReed" (262).O'Neill had Paterson Pageant. O'Neill evergotto tionfortheMetropolitan. (263) wasthat [his] memory" ofJohn rolled a those who were shirt sleeves up.

Maya Koreneva asserts thatthe performance of"Bound East forCardiff" 543 ..Eugene O'Neill and theWorkingClass Avenue salon hostessMabel Dodge leftNewYork on a luxuriousfirst-class who had come to withouttellingthe strikers. If after for"the unfortunate. theycannotwrite acterslack a voice-"in manywaystheyare inarticulate of theirown problems." O'Neill explains-and so the playwright mustbe their "I like to for them.apparently at the moment Reed's Reed's uplifting cheerleading. could place" (53). In the first expressedhimself contradictory playwright partof O'Neill stresses a "wish to arouse compassion"in his dramato the interview.. about what he referred to as "our brothers fardown on the the lower classes." If O'Neill had discernedan inconsistency between his views of the workingclass as embodyingthis"ideal" and his first-hand experienceof the"tragic"conditionsof workingclasslife-between a desireto "help" the workingclassesand a view of theirlivesas freeof economic pressures-he does not so indicatein the interview. 15. As I will argue. forsocial reform with which O'Neill begins his discussionof the laboringclass thanthe attitude." createsympathy viewing the drama his audience is "inspiredto help those unhappybrothers. In explaininghis rationalefordoing so. the social scale" (Bird 53). thatthereis a kind of freeexpressed dom and manlyvirtuein enduringpoor food and low pay... focusof his dramain a 1924 14.it was leftto O'Neill's dramato confront thesetheoretical contradictions. the is worthwhile." "tragicplay Laterin the same interview. passageforEurope. Only fora classinterloper the ship be so described-as a site of respite and disengagement. laterin the interview." O'Neill explains. in starkly terms. O'Neill's description of the workingclass not the endured stressing changesdrastically. Meals provided. a place thatcomprised"no economic pressure.The ship fora home.They . The suffering.Yet it seems. of" the workers: A resting like O'Neill." spokesman: interpret A third on the workingclassappearsin the interview as perspective O'Neill waxes nostalgicforhis daysas a seaman. His charintercourse. however.the timewhen he was "one "Life on the sea is ideal. however. departure appreciate failure had an when it became clear thatthe pageanthad been a financial "immensepsychologicalimpact"(Rosenstone 124) in deepeningthe strikers' disillusionment. an escape frombourgeoisartificiality.could be more paralyzing to the impulse nothing. Asked about the protracted working-class O'Neill acknowledgedthathe wrote oftenabout Theatre Magazineinterview. In action and utterance" (52).. suffering by exploitedlaborers and freedomfromsocial pretense: but theirguilelessness "They have not been in the evasions and which come with social lifeand steeped superficialities are more direct.

hole visitof the femalereformer to his engines-"I love those engines-all 17.Pfister both Edmund .Ewan MacColl.Yank'sfully developed metaphor..The elderPerkins's commitment described so as to resemble the central engines"(27)-is psychologicaldevice in in his position the stokehole. 1990. Drama 10. Mildred'sintrusion causes a profoundalteration in refers to as the"selfobject Maria a discussion of the miMiliora. "From Shock Troupe to GroupTheatre.. -. play. UP. BryllionFagin. Jackson: P.TheTempering ofEugeneO'Neill.Orleans.Stuart. NewYork: Harcourt.Chura as the birthofAmericandrama" on 28 July1916 "may be regarded literally (148). 259-79. "O'Neill as Social Critic. 16. and as Tyrone"(106). 1880-1935. NewYork: NewYork Cargill. and StuartCosgrove.Ed. 1961." Estrin6-12. Mourning EugeneO'Neill: Beyond UP. andTragedy. Oscar Alexander. Provincetown U of Mississippi MarkW.N."Yank replies. Olga's appearancewithTom among the stokers in "The PersonalEquation" foreshadows scene 3 of The Hairy Ape--the stokeMildred Douglas. Egan. Asked used byYank The Hairy Ape to justify ifhe sees himself as a "fleshand blood wheel of the engines. 544 ."Theatres oftheLeft Cosgrove. New Haven:Yale Black."O'Neill's Use of Dante in The Fountain Andreach. Ed. Conversations with Estrin.Patrick J. EugeneO'Neill.Fisher. ed. on Lonely Sand Dunes by Finds His Inspiration Downes. as a Stage." Modern Bird. Olin.London: Routledge."O'Neill and His Plays. 1999.1 (1968): 48-56. "Dat's me" (127). Leona Rust. 1994. "Playwright the Sea.Lendley.Carol. Workscited Doris." Estrin50-55. As Floyd notes (97).MA: Parnassus.1962. Undertaking an analysis of the autobiographical sourcesof O'Neill's class also concludes thatin LongDay'sJourney "O'Neill can be read as views. 1985. in what clinicalpsycholo18. gist inhabitant. lieu" (415) of the working-class 19.andWilliamJ.. "Eugene O'Neill-The InnerMan. 390-407. Raphael Samuel. and The Hairy Robert J."I'msteel" (129) suggests in the primalpsychicneeds identifications the originof such "environmental" of the workingclass. Ape.

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