Georg Kaiser’s (1878-1945)


is one of the most famous plays of German Expressionism. It was written in 1917/18, and its debut performances took place in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf on 28 November 1918. The play was directly influenced by World War I (1914-1918), but many of the problems it addresses are still pressing issues today.


explores the tensions between the individual and technology in an industrialized and increasingly militarized society: it reveals the dangers of technological dependency and is a warning against the naïve belief in progress through growing mechanization. It shows the dehumanizing effects of monotonous factory work, and it exposes the ignorance and self-destructive nature of the masses guided by blind technological optimism.

The five-act play focuses on a

1449 words

Citation: Weiler, Christina. "Gas". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 June 2014 [, accessed 14 July 2024.]

35215 Gas 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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