Georg Kaiser’s (1878-1945) Gas 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. Gas 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
Citation: Weiler, Christina. "Gas". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 June 2014 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=35215, accessed 09 December 2023.]