The famous playwright, Eugene O’Neill (1888-1953), not only wrote scripts and screenplays for his productions but also applied his own hand to designing sets and scenes for the stage. While doing so, in order to best express the intended theme of his plays he crafted his stage directions as finely as possible. With these things in mind, what manner of endeavor did O’Neill considering directing plays to be? This paper seeks to explore these issues, which premise the production of such performances, through thorough examination of several of O’Neill’s texts – both long and short – while giving concrete examples, and in doing so will strive to consider just what a kind of playwright O’Neill is and where they should stand in relation to their plays.
This study observes the kind of implications that depictions related to “gaze” have in Herman Melville’s short stories, “The Lightning-Rod Man” and “I and My Chimney.” We can see the same style in Moby-Dick, so it is possible to say that Melville is experienced at using this kind of depictions.
In “The Lightning-Rod Man,” a salesman’s excessive warning about thunderstorms offers Melville the opportunity to present an exaggerated acting element that characterizes the narrator’s style. Readers calmly monitor two characters who are caught in a struggle for power. We can see the possibility of new ways of reading in the multi-layered structure of this story.
In “I and My Chimney,” the structure of the narrator’s house reminds us of Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon. The narrator regards the chimney as his “superior,” but, as noted by other scholars, the presence of the chimney also symbolizes his authority as a landlord. The narrator refuses to accept the opinions of his wife and daughters, who are planning to remove the chimney and remodel their house. He continues to keep an eye on them, but they in turn also watch his behavior carefully. Therefore, we cannot conclude this to be a panoptical structure.
Both works contain a complicated structure when it comes to the “gaze.” This complexity deepens in Melville’s later work, The Confidence-Man.
Eigo 1 Koutoujogakkouyou (Tokyo: Chutougakkoukyoukashokabushikigaisha, 1944) is one of the textbooks that were hastily composed by experts from an urgent need to revise the previous ones which contained some passages admiring cultures especially in England and America at the time of war against these nations. After the surrender in 1945, however, the ministry of education in Japan made an abrupt change in attitude and ordered schools to delete the militaristic content in such textbooks mainly with the intention of keeping it from the sight of U.S. occupation officials. Consequently, teachers were supposed to direct their students to black out the passages, sometimes the whole page, of the textbooks that seemed to have nurtured the war-aspiring spirit. This practice is generally called “black out” (suminuri) and the textbook partly painted in black ink is called a “blacked-out textbook” (suminuri kyoukasho). In this paper, I will focus on the notes a particular student put in the margins of the pages in Eigo 1 Koutoujogakkouyou as well as the black traces she willy-nilly left in it. After reading them from the viewpoint of literary criticism (especially its rhetorical approach to the unreadable), I will illustrate the actuality of “blacked-out” English textbooks.
Language is indispensable part of the philosophy of Mikhail Bakhtin, who is known for his explanation of what underlies Dostoevskii’s and Rabelais’ ways of composing their works. He criticizes the theories on language proposed by Saussure and Vossler, saying that one should see language as being intertwined with the contexts where it is used. Language is neither a concrete system nor a medium in which one can see their thoughts expressing themselves. In Bakhtin’s view, language does not exist unless someone uses it, but no one can use it at their own will because there exist form and rules that restrict one’s free use of it. Nevertheless, one does not need to be conscious of form when speaking in their mother tongue, so it can be said that in mother tongue, language is automatic to some extent. In this sense, “a foreign language” should be considered not only as a language spoken by people in a foreign country but also as a language that does not grant one the automatic use. It is in learning foreign languages that one has to encounter form and rules of language. That is where one is required to be active and responsible in exercising their language ability.