The Emperor Jones


Eugene O’Neill

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The Crocodile God Symbol Analysis

The Crocodile God Symbol Icon

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 he was only twelve hours earlier. Because of this, when Jones shoots the crocodile with his silver bullet and sends it back to the river, he symbolically destroys his own godliness and his own good luck charm, thereby accepting that he's nothing more than a man like any other.

The Crocodile God Quotes in The Emperor Jones

The The Emperor Jones quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Crocodile God. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of The Emperor Jones published in 2011.
Scene 7 Quotes

What—what is I doin'? What is—dis place? Seems like—seems like I know dat tree—an' dem stones—an' de river. I remember—seems like I been heah befo'.

Related Characters: Brutus Jones (speaker), The Witch Doctor
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Crocodile God Symbol Timeline in The Emperor Jones

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Crocodile God appears in The Emperor Jones. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Scene 7
History and Collective Memory Theme Icon
Power and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
Godliness, Humanity, and Fear Theme Icon
...seems to call to something in it. The witch doctor slowly steps backwards as a crocodile with glittering eyes appears over the edge of the bank. The crocodile looks at Jones,... (full context)
Power and Systemic Oppression Theme Icon
Godliness, Humanity, and Fear Theme Icon
The crocodile crawls further out of the river as the witch doctor's chanting and the tom-tom reaches... (full context)