The Hairy Ape

In the Play, The Hairy Ape by Eugene O'Neill, there are two characters that play an important role in the play. They are Paddy and Long.Long and Paddy are firemen aboard the Ocean Liner.They both have thick accents, but express their thoughts with complexity through their dialogue as seen in the play.With their characteristics, one sees two different sides of how the Industrial Revolution had an impact on the lives of those working at that time.
Although Paddy only appears in The Hairy Ape in two scenes, he is an important element of the play.Paddy is an old Irish man who likes to drink heavily, and he is known for his spouting about on subjects such as philosophy and stories of the past especially when he's intoxicated.Of the men on the ship Paddy could be considered the oldest of the men because he has been doing labor jobs longer than most of the firemen as he says when he describes his life on the Clipper Ships (pg1122).
Paddy's extensive monologue in Scene One details how shipping used to be aboard Clipper Ships(pg1122). Without Paddy’s presence the audience would not have as much perspective about the revolution brought about by machines. Paddy has experienced life on the sea that was free, where he was empowered and valued.Paddy, unlike many of the men such as Long, knows what it is like to not do slave labor.Paddy’s experiences let him have real opinions unlike the rest of the firemen with him.This is why he complains about his life as a fireman and how it's a prison compared to the freedom brought about by the Clipper Ships (pg1122-23).
Long, on the other hand, is alike in some ways and yet different in other ways.Long is younger than Paddy as discussed earlier. In the play, Long complains of his life being hell.He says that the ship is their home.He complains that their life was forced on them. I believe this refers to how the Industrial Revolution had enforced itself in th…


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