Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 158
Emperor Jones (1920) is another of O'Neill's forays into expressionist theater. It tells the story of a black man who worked as a railroad porter and eventually ends up in the West Indies where, by a bit of fate, raises himself to the role of emperor.
Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman (1949) chronicles the life of a salesman who, while harboring delusions of grandeur, is ultimately only a cog in the machine of business. The play examines how his failure to grasp reality impacts both his life and the lives of his family.
John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939) chronicles the despair of the disenfranchised American worker. The novel deals with the economic period—the Great Depression—that followed the boom era of O'Neill's play.
The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and published in 1925, is a look into the privileged class that before the Great Depression had little care and spent much of its time partying.