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expressionism, its features and expressionistic vision in the play " The Emperor Jone" by Eugene o Niells

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  1. 1. Expressionism Presented by Maryam Bibi Roll no 14211502-005 Presented to Sir Amjad Ali
  2. 2. A brief introduction • Expressionism is an important literary movement in the 20th century literary history. • The roots of Expressionism are found in Northern European art...specifically in German art and drama. • Focuses on the emotions and spirituals.
  3. 3. Continue…………. • Expressionism, in the visual, literary, and performing arts, a movement or tendency that strives to express subjective feelings and emotions rather than to depict reality or nature objectively. • The objectives of expressionism in literature, notably in the novel and the drama, are similar to those in art. The characters and scenes are presented in a stylized, distorted manner with the intent of producing emotional shock.
  4. 4. Features of Expressionism • The primary features of expressionism are: • emphasis on abstraction and subjectivity, • the theme of searching' for the meaning of life, • two-dimensional personality and distortion of the individual, • disjoined and confusing plots, • absence of conflict, • frequent changing dialogues, • peculiar use of punctuations and the use of different expressionistic techniques,
  6. 6. Plot or summary of play • The Emperor Jones, drama by Eugene O’Neill, produced in 1920 and published in 1921. The Emperor Jones was the playwright’s first foray into Expressionist writing. • The play consists of a total eight scenes arranged in hierarchical succession. The first and the last scenes are realistic in the manner of O’Neill’s early plays. The six middle scenes are ” expressionistic”, consisting of monologues of Jones, interspersed with descriptions of the Great Forest which forms the setting of the play and which is also an overseeing character in it.
  7. 7. • In “The Emperor Jones”, the dramatist presents the anguished and fevered brain to Brutus Jones; he shows the feeling of panic and fear in the breast of half civilized Negro. He is the victim of the personifications of his lonely fears in the forest. He represents the breakdown of a Negroid mentality under the stress of fear and fatigue. The play is a study of the psychology of a man when he is haunted by his past crimes and the memory of racial unconsciousness. • Brutus Jones was a bold and brave exploiter who could enter in to the forest alone. But gradually he became an object figure, as he was scared by some hallucination (an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present) in the forest. The hallucinations which haunt him are his personal memories of his primitive past, of racial injustice heaped on him. These are the personal memories of him as a southern slave auction in which he is for slave ship in which Negroes are being brought from Africa.
  8. 8. Expressionism in the play • Scene one: • The use of dumb shown in the very beginning of the play is very effective. In this, the conversation occurs between Smithers and Jones and from this we came to know about the past of Jones, about his character and of his future plans. • Scene two: • In this scene, there is a description of the Great Forest and the trauma faced by Jones. The scene is a piece of monologue and O,Neill has made effective use of the Negro dialect.
  9. 9. • Scene four: • It is a powerful scene, very effective on the stage. It is one long monologue interspersed with the descriptions of the forest. The re- enactment of the murder of the Prison Guard, like the vision of murdered Jeff the figure whom Jones murdered in the past , is an expressionist projection of the sense of guilt buried deep down. • Scene five: • As the night advances, Jones becomes more and more tormented and anguished. The hallucination that Jones has in this scene is not the projection of his own “unconscious”. It is the first Jungian touch that O’Neill provides in the play, for the auction scene set in a Southern State of America is a part of Jones ‘ collective unconscious’.
  10. 10. • O’Neill use of soliloquies, asides, and interior monologues, to reveal the innermost working of the character’s mind for the purpose of giving outward expression to thoughts and emotions which are normally unexpressed to create depth and complexity of his dramatic techniques.
  11. 11. Thanks