The Hairy Ape by Eugene O’Neill

220px-The_Hairy_ApeIt’s been said that you should always treat others how you, yourself, want to be treated. A lot of people don’t realize this, and when they treat others badly, and get treated the same in return, they regret the horrible actions they performed earlier.

This is just like Yank, a big strong man, in The Hairy Ape written by Eugene O’Neill. Yank, who’s real name is Bob Smith, is a fireman who shovels coal on a Transatlantic Liner in New York City. He is the leader of his other workers, as they are all terrified of him.

Yank bosses the guys around all day, just like a big ape. He is even called a “Big Ape” by another members on-board the ship.
Later in the book, Yank and another fireman, Long, travel to New York City on 5th Aveune to see how the upper class lives. Yank become furrious with how rude some people are, and eventually gets arrested for making a man miss the bus.

After Yank’s release, Yank visits a zoo and walks over to an ape cage. The ape reminds Yank that the ape is just like him.  Yank opens the cage to try and become friends with the ape, but the ape crushes Yank, throws him into the cage and kills him.

With Yank’s tragic death, it makes you realize that you should always treat others with the up-most respect, because, as in Yank’s situation, karma can come back and haunt you later. This play was very well written and organized to perfection. It kept me interested all the way throughout and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for an entertaining, unexpected plot.

By Nick S.


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