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Transcript of Dutchman Analysis
Images from Shutterstock.com Historical Context The Civil Rights Era is quite important and is especially so to this piece because it is a response to one answer of the question "How do we combat racism?". Specifically the answer "By assimilating into white society."
The moral of the story is white society (Lula) will use you (you being the black man (Clay), put you down, lie to you, twist you in circles before throwing you away no matter what. There's no point in throwing away your culture just to be used. It is truly a lose-lose situation. The others on the train throwing Clay's body off the end symbolized other opressed groups (i.e - the Irish) throwing the Black Man under the bus to look better.
Because the play is an allegory for the Black man's position and how they're viewed by white society, it works to be set in any decade within the 20th century. Both Clay and Lula would be dressed in upper/middle class fashion with Clay specifically avoiding any fashion trend from Black culture. Themes Deception
Imagery Amiri Baraka was born Everett LeRoi Jones on October 7, 1934.
Called LeRoi, he grew up in Newark, New Jersey, a gifted student who graduated from high school early and won a scholarship to Rutgers University.
He transferred to the predominantly African American Howard University after only one year, however, because he felt too much like an outsider at Rutgers. But he felt equally uneasy at Howard because there, “They teach you how to pretend to be white.” History (cont.) History Dutchman, Amiri Baraka’s shocking one-act play was first presented at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City in March, 1964.
It's a transitional piece and it carries elements of the Dadaist poetry of Amiri Baraka’s Bohemian stage, anti-racist sentiments, and the radical black consciousness-raising that would characterize much of his later work.
Dutchman is a symbolic version of the Adam and Eve story.
The verbal fencing between Clay (the black Adam) and Lula (a white Eve) spirals irrevocably to the symbolic act of violence that will apparently repeat itself over and over again. Theme Chosen Imagery Bibliography Period of Our Production Concept Group Title Theatre 1010
Instructor Berry Group Members: Jurdan Twyman, Bertina Lomotey, Wesley Lee, Christian Spencer, and Rafael Padilla-Powell 20th century "Amiri Baraka's Use of Imagery, Metaphor & Irony in The Dutchman." Yahoo! Contributor Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2013.
"Dutchman." Encyclopedia.com. Encyclopedia, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013.