The Emperor Jones


Eugene O’Neill

Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on The Emperor Jones makes teaching easy.

The Color White

Given the racial tensions at work in the play, the color white—describing both people and objects—is a symbol of power. The white people that Jones encounters, including both the living (Smithers) and the…

read analysis of The Color White

Jones's Uniform

When the reader or audience first meets Jones, his uniform is ostentatious and dripping with decoration—it's the true mark of an emperor. As Jones encounters the apparitions in the woods, however, his uniform gradually…

read analysis of Jones's Uniform

The Silver Bullet

The silver bullet represents Jones's tenuous hold on power. Jones clings to his one silver bullet the same way he clings to his emperorship, and refuses to let either of them go. When he finally…

read analysis of The Silver Bullet

The Crocodile God

In Scene VII, the witch doctor summons the crocodile god and attempts to sacrifice Jones to it. This happens when Jones is finally overcome by fear, so he no longer resembles the confident, larger-than-life emperor…

read analysis of The Crocodile God