The Hairy Ape

by

Eugene O’Neill

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Paddy Character Analysis

An experienced old Irishman who works alongside Yank on the ocean liner. Paddy is jaded and depressed about the miserable conditions of the stokehole, frequently complaining about how wretched it is to work below deck. When Yank tries to convince his fellow stokers that the stokehole is their home, Paddy goes out of his way to emphasize how much better his life was before becoming an undervalued laborer. To drive his point home, he describes what it was like to sail above deck on beautiful boats, contrasting this liberating experience to the feeling of toiling for hours on end in front of the furnaces. After Mildred calls Yank a “filthy beast,” Paddy tells him that she looked at him as if he were a “hairy ape,” an idea that haunts Yank and inspires him to leave the ocean liner to take his revenge.

Paddy Quotes in The Hairy Ape

The The Hairy Ape quotes below are all either spoken by Paddy or refer to Paddy. 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:
Pride, Identity, and Belonging Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Hairy Ape published in 1995.
Scene One Quotes

The room is crowded with men, shouting, cursing, laughing, signing—a confused, inchoate uproar swelling into a sort of unity, a meaning—the bewildered, furious, baffled defiance of a beast in a cage. […]

The treatment of this scene, or of any other scene in the play, should by no means be naturalistic. The effect sought after is a cramped space in the bowels of a ship, imprisoned by white steel. The lines of bunks, the uprights supporting them, cross each other like the steel framework of a cage. The ceiling crushes down upon the men’s heads. They cannot stand upright. This accentuates the natural stooping posture which shoveling coal and the resultant over-development of back and shoulder muscles have given them. The men themselves should resemble those pictures in which the appearance of Neanderthal Man is guessed at. All are hairy-chested, with long arms of tremendous power, and low, receding brows above their small, fierce, resentful eyes.

Related Characters: Yank, Paddy, Long
Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:

Yerra, what’s the use of talking? ’Tis a dead man’s whisper. (to Yank resentfully) ’Twas them days a ship was part of the sea, and a man was part of a ship, and the sea joined all together and made it one. (scornfully) Is it one wid this you’d be, Yank—black smoke from the funnels smudging the sea, smudging the decks—the bloody engines pounding and throbbing and shaking—wid divil a sight of sun or a breath of clean air—choking our lungs wid coal dust—breaking our backs and hearts in the hell of the stokehole—feeding the bloody furnace—feeding our lives along wid the coal, I’m thinking—caged in by steel from a sight of the sky like bloody apes in the Zoo! (with a harsh laugh) Ho-ho, divil mend you! Is it to belong to that you’re wishing? Is it a flesh and blood wheel of the engines you’d be?

Related Characters: Paddy (speaker), Yank
Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:

Everyting else dat makes de woild move, somep’n makes it move. It can’t move witout somep’n else, see? Den yuh get down to me. I’m at de bottom, get me! Dere ain’t nothin’ foither. I’m de end! I’m de start! I start somep’n and de woild moves! It—dat’s me!—de new dat’s moiderin’ de old! I’m de ting in coal dat makes it boin; I’m steam and oil for de engines; I’m de ting in gold dat makes it money! And I’m what makes iron into steel! Steel, dat stands for de whole ting! And I’m steel—steel—steel!

Related Characters: Yank (speaker), Paddy, Long
Page Number: 151
Explanation and Analysis:

PADDY—(begins to sing the “Miller of Dee” with enormous good nature)

“I care for nobody, no, not I,
And nobody cares for me.”

YANK—(good-natured himself in a flash, interrupts Paddy with a slap on the bare back like a report) Dat’s de stuff! Now yuh’re gettin’ wise to somep’n. Care for nobody, dat’s de dope! To hell wit ’em all! And nix on nobody else carin’. I kin care for myself, get me! (Eight bells sound, muffled, vibrating through the steel walls as if some enormous brazen gong were imbedded in the heart of the ship. […].)

Related Characters: Paddy (speaker), Yank
Page Number: 152
Explanation and Analysis:
Scene Four Quotes

And there she was standing behind us, and the Second pointing at us like a man you’d hear in a circus would be saying: In this cage is a queerer kind of baboon than ever you’d find in darkest Africy. We roast them in their own sweat—and be damned if you won’t hear some of thim saying they like it! (He glances scornfully at Yank.)

[…]

’Twas love at first sight, divil a doubt of it! If you’d seen the endearin’ look on her pale mug when she shriveled away with her hands over her eyes to shut out the sight of him! Sure, ’twas as if she’d seen a great hairy ape escaped from the Zoo!

Related Characters: Paddy (speaker), Yank, Mildred Douglas, Second Engineer
Page Number: 168
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Hairy Ape PDF

Paddy Character Timeline in The Hairy Ape

The timeline below shows where the character Paddy appears in The Hairy Ape. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Scene One
Aggression and Stupidity Theme Icon
Progress and Happiness Theme Icon
...men rush forward to offer alcohol. The men then encourage an “old, wizened Irishman” named Paddy to sing. Paddy has an “extremely monkey-like” face and is exceedingly drunk, though the Irishman... (full context)
Exploitation, Oppression, and the Individual Theme Icon
Progress and Happiness Theme Icon
Having listened to Yank’s ideas about “belonging” in the stokehole, Paddy says that if they’re so important to the ship, then “that Almighty God have pity... (full context)
Exploitation, Oppression, and the Individual Theme Icon
Progress and Happiness Theme Icon
As he speaks, Paddy sees he isn’t getting through to Yank. “’Twas them days a ship was part of... (full context)
Pride, Identity, and Belonging Theme Icon
Exploitation, Oppression, and the Individual Theme Icon
Aggression and Stupidity Theme Icon
Progress and Happiness Theme Icon
Paddy’s words have no effect on Yank, and so he resignedly says that he hopes a... (full context)
Pride, Identity, and Belonging Theme Icon
Exploitation, Oppression, and the Individual Theme Icon
Aggression and Stupidity Theme Icon
...stokers are “slaves.” Instead, he maintains that they “run de whole woiks.” As he speaks, Paddy sips begrudgingly from the bottle, as if trying to drink himself into a stupor. As... (full context)
Aggression and Stupidity Theme Icon
Progress and Happiness Theme Icon
...to the stokers that it’s time for them to return to the engine room. However, Paddy refuses to leave, saying that he’ll stay sitting in the forecastle “drinking” and “thinking” and... (full context)
Scene Three
Pride, Identity, and Belonging Theme Icon
Exploitation, Oppression, and the Individual Theme Icon
Progress and Happiness Theme Icon
...doors, at which point they take a small break and wait for the next whistle. Paddy—who apparently left the forecastle after all—complains about the difficult work, saying that he is “destroyed... (full context)
Pride, Identity, and Belonging Theme Icon
Exploitation, Oppression, and the Individual Theme Icon
Aggression and Stupidity Theme Icon
...move at amazing speeds. When they finally slam the furnace doors closed for another break, Paddy once again complains, and the engineer blows the whistle after hardly any time at all.... (full context)
Scene Four
Pride, Identity, and Belonging Theme Icon
Exploitation, Oppression, and the Individual Theme Icon
Slyly, Paddy suggests that he knows what’s bothering Yank. “’Tis aisy to see. He’s fallen in love,... (full context)
Pride, Identity, and Belonging Theme Icon
Exploitation, Oppression, and the Individual Theme Icon
Aggression and Stupidity Theme Icon
...God!” Once again, the stokers repeat him with cynical delight until Long backs away and Paddy continues as if he hasn’t been interrupted, saying, “And there she was standing behind us,... (full context)
Pride, Identity, and Belonging Theme Icon
Aggression and Stupidity Theme Icon
...her!” Yank yells, “I’ll brain her yet, wait ’n’ see!” He then slowly walks toward Paddy and says, “Say, is dat what she called me—a hairy ape?” In response, Paddy tells... (full context)