Water by the Spoonful:
When you read this play you will come to notice that it has a wide range of characters as well as wide range experiences.
Task assigned out of the play “WATER BY THE SPOONFUL” .
1. What issues are part of the ethnic and minority studies?
2. What issues in the play represent concerns we’ve had in other plays?
The play Los Vendidos by Luis Valdez has a couple of trigger points which he intends the readers of the play to create some impression in their minds. The author has used the two main characters in the play, the secretary as well as Sancho to bring out the idea of a hardworking person in their quest for a model. Sancho introduces a couple of models to the secretary for her to analyze. In a satirical way, the secretary describes the models either fit or otherwise. One model is introduced as very hardworking, being able to perform a variety of tasks. To show this, the author, through the character Sancho, says that these fictitious models have the ability to pick coffee in the field as well as other farm related work. The other model introduced is a city model. This triggers the reader to see disparity between city people and village people .The tasks that the two can be able to accomplish are totally different. The village people are seen to be humble and well-mannered contrary to city people who are seen to be vulgar as in the case where Jonny, the city model says F*** you to the secretary. Despite being better acquainted with better skills than village people, it is evident that they have bad public relations.
Secondly, the author brings out the issue of crime and security. Sancho mentions how the LAPD has purchased models similar to Johnny to rain cops. This is, however, described in a satirical way where Sancho terms the LAPD cops as rookie cops to show how inferior he thinks the LAPD force is .The idea of city residents bee acquainted to the idea of theft to survive is also brought in the picture. Johnny, the city model, demonstrates this when he steals the secretary’s purse. At a point in the play, he smokes an imaginary joint of marijuana. This shows the height of how immoral he is. When the secretary says that there cannot be more thieves in the state administration is a direct insinuation that unlawful law enforcement officers corrupt the current state administration. The secretary, unlike Sancho is not of the idea of being liberal minded when it comes to the issue of law enforcement and the uncouth behavior of state administration personnel as suggested in the play.
Lastly, another major trigger point is the issue of politics running throughout the play. As the secretary dismisses the model Johnny, she mentions to Sancho that what she really is looking for is a male model with the persona as well as attributes to attract female voters. This shows that it is a time for campaign maybe awaiting a major election. It is correct to think that the women are the majority population in the country described by the author .It is what makes the secretary seek a model who will help win majority of the votes from women in the country. Sancho describes the achievements of Governor Reagan, who the secretary works for in a very cynical manner saying No problem. You know these new farm labor camps our Honorable Governor Reagan has built out by Parlier or Raisin City? A person reading this play is triggered to see that the politicians are not acting as per the voter’s expectations. From Sancho’s sarcasm in describing what Reagan the governor has accomplished in his era in power.
The play by Luis satirizes the stereotype behaviors in Mexico. One instance where this is shown is where Johnny grabs the secretary’s purse and makes away with it. This is in line with the common burglary behavior in the country Mexico where unruly youth are known to steal from people on the streets. Another instance where the author satirizes the Latino culture is where he describes that the secretary was looking for a model to attract female voters. According to Sancho, such a model would be riding a horse, be strong and good looking and won a farm. This is the case of most Mexican T.V shows. Male models considered to be attractive to female counter parts fit the description that Sancho gives. This kind of stereotyping seems to be outdated. Over time, cultures have changed allowing disappearance of such old stereotype behaviors and the incorporation of new stereotypes.
When it comes to the issue of politics, politicians all over the world are known of using cultural appropriations for political gain. This narrows down to tribal appropriation where politicians could develop tight relations with the leaders whose ethnicity is from the majority of the population. By doing this, the politicians hope to convince he majority people, through their representatives, to vote for them in elections thereby enabling them to win by majority votes.
In the play Dutchman, the author has stipulated a couple of trigger points that make the reader of the play create certain mental images. Amiri Baraka brings out some trigger points at the beginning of the play. Firstly, the author has chosen a young Negro and a white lady as the main characters. This is a major trigger point. It brings out the diversity of race due to the racial differences between Clay and Lula. The characters have a significant difference in age too, Clay being twenty and Lula being thirty. The difference in race as well as age between the two characters evokes a lot of thought for the reader or a person watching the play. This is so since interaction between the two in the play is in a flirtatious way. The lady Lula in a joking tone asks Clay whether he thinks she wanted to pick him up for them to have sex later. This raises the thought of such women who search for young men to satisfy their romantic needs. The author also shows that the idea of women stalking young men have gotten into the latter’s heads. This is so since it is evident that Clay seems to be of the idea that Lula intends to exploit him for her romantic gain.
The author shows women with mid-life crisis in this play. From the conversation between Clay and Lula, the latter is portrayed as a very perverted aging woman. It is normal that at some age women quits some behaviors such as flirting with young boys, the urge of attending parties and so on. On the contrary, Lula has not given up this habit. She actually comes to Clay from the time she spots him inside the train, sits next to him and strikes a conversation. Though both seem to be of the idea of being with each other, it is Lula who provokes Clay into such thought. Socially or conventionally, such act from Lula is not appropriate. Women of such age as Lula should play a different role in the society such as guiding young adults such as Clay. When she asks Clay whether he would be willing to take her to Warren’s party, it comes to light that she does not care about people’s judgment when they see her and Clay together. The manner and confidence in which she approaches and drives her conversation with Clay shows that maybe she is used to randomly picking young men in places she goes.
The author goes ahead in the play to portray the great disparity between black and white people. At a point Clay mentions that his uncle is a watchman. This shows the low place in society that black people were placed by society at the time of the play. On the other hand, Lula is a successful poet who is obviously rich and seeks the company of the young man Clay. There is also a difference in political backgrounds. Lula begins by saying that she comes from a democrat family. Clay replies by saying that his mother is a republican. From this, the author portrays the vast difference between black and white people. It comes to the mind f the reader of the play to contemplate the vast difference race brings to people. If one would switch the characters, the whole act would play out right. It would look socially okay for a thirty-year-old man flirting with a twenty-year-old girl. This so since men are known to prefer women much younger than them.
In recent plays based on the same subject matter of racial differences, the Dutchman play is of comparison and contrast. In a recent movie named Django, black people were actually being sold as slaves to work in white people farms. In this particular movie a black person gains the trust of his master and he elevates him to his assistant teaching him how to live like a white man. The play and the movie can be comparable in the basis of the vast racial differences between black and white people shown. Both the play and the movie tell that black and white people had differences in economic, social as well as political sense.
LIT 363-450 6/10/14
ANNA IN THE TROPICS
Santiago, Cheche and Ofelia are among the characters in the play “Anna in the Tropics”, who represent various forces that are present in the world. The play took place in an old warehouse in a town called Ybor City, in 1929. Santiago is the owner of a cigar factory who is addicted to gambling and a defender of the Cuban traditions in the factory. He is less receptive to change and new ways of production. He has a wife named Ofelia and two children named Conchita and Marela. He has a brother who is named Cheche. Cheche is Santiago’s half brother who in contrast to Santiago, is interested in modernizing the cigar factory and preferably mechanizing it rather than in the stories of the new Lector hired by Ofelia. He is bitter with Lector owing to the fact that his previous wife left him for a Lector. Ofelia is Santiago’s wife who is loving and passionate. She keeps her family together and prevents it from falling apart.
In the first act, Cheche represents change, a force that is inevitable for a persons or businesses success. He represents it since he never advocated for the Lector, who told stories at the factory as the employees continued to labor. The love stories he told were at the expense of the cheap laborers at the cigar factory. In the world, the forces of change are present and are necessary, both for personal as well as organizational development. Cheche however contradicted the force he presented in the second act in which he was the only one who did not change as a result of the Lectors love stories. The contradiction represented the various types of change; technological and the behavioral changes.
He also represents the force of hate, which is exhibited by his resentment for the Lector. He hated the Lector due to the previous encounter he had with the previous Lector who ran with his wife. The force of hate causes bad actions as it was witnessed in the second act of the play. He killed Lector in revenge of the act that the previous one had done to him. The hate that had been built from the act of the previous Lector was transferred and caused him to hate the new Lector and even to kill him in the end. In the world, the force of hate has caused untold harm and revenge leading to death and untold suffering.
Santagio represented the forces of addiction and recklessness, which are present in the real world. In the first act of the play, he was exhibited as a reckless gambler who could not resist the habit during the cockfights, which were hosted by Eliades. He carelessly placed bets in the cockfights, without any caution as his brother Cheche did. After the first loss from the bet which he had placed a higher amount than his brother, he even placed a larger bet which he also lost. He continued and even borrowed his brother and placed a section of the factory at risk due to his habit. Such risky forces of addiction have interfered with many families across the world. Some have even gambled with the most valuable family treasures and have lost them in useless gambles. That has resulted into broken and suffering families across the world.
Santiago also represented the forces of family unity and love. He loved his family and was ready to do anything so as to fend for them. His family, especially his wife Ofelia defended him through ideas. His daughter Marela was the link and a family tie when the two of them were not in good terms. Like any other families, his family experienced good and bad times. In the first act, the family had a bad time and he and his wife were not in good times. The family, in the second act, experienced good times after the love story was told by Lector and influenced them accordingly. In the world, the forces of family unity and love are present. Love for their family gives men a reason to work and keep up with challenging situations so as to protect their family members from the harm that would befall the family in case they relent to the pressures of life.
A RAISIN IN THE SUN
A Raisin in the Sun is set somewhere between the present and World War II. It is in 1959 at Chicago’s Southside. It is morning, Travis and Ruth are sleeping on a make-down bed. As the alarm clock rings, Ruth storms out of her room, passes her sleeping son, Travis, and jiggles him a little. After she raises a dusty shade, the morning light flows in. Here is when she calls her son amidst yawns. Aged 30, her life seems to fall short of her expectations. On informing her young son that it is 7:30, he heads for the bathroom that is located out in the hall. The bathroom is shared by other families dwelling on the same floor.
Walter, Travis’ father wakes up some moments later after his wife, Ruth has called him for the fourth time. He has to wait for Travis to come back from the bathroom so that he can as well use it considering that Mr. Johnson takes the place. Walter lights up a cigarette, throws a compliment to his wife, then Travis comes back from the bathroom moments later. This is a brief description of the Younger family. The house is shared by four adults and one young child, Travis, Ruth’s son.
Through Walter, the theme of racism is well cultivated. We witness some degree of antagonism between him and his wife Ruth. This antagonism is heightened further when their conversation becomes more apparent about the impacts of racisms and how they have divided sexes. Walter increasingly lays a lot of blame on Ruth for crushing his dream even though we can comprehend Ruth’s caution. She does this owing to the prevailing pragmatism as well as the inadequate resources available in African American society which emerges to be a racist society. Ruth has a limited but yet an unwittingly contribution towards racism and its effects.
Ruth is not happy with Walter’s inquisitiveness towards Beneatha. She grows sad when he keeps on asking her the monotonous school and the cost of the career path she wants to follow, a doctor. Ruth instructs Walter to leave Beneatha alone. However, Walter is not silenced by this. He goes ahead to mock Beneatha’s concern for mama and ironically tells her to stop being that ambitious because she might end up being just like the other nurses or worse still, get married and shut her mouth. According to Walter, a woman like Beneatha doesn’t have to be a doctor.
Beneatha on the other hand extends the theme of racism. She asks Walter if he wants her to drop school. He answers that they have had so many sacrifices so it could be better if she did something for the family. Walter even pints out that it is due to Beneatha that Mama is not able to invest in liquor store. He himself to them as to be the most backward race of people in the world yet he belongs to the same race.
Beneatha has an ambition just like Walter. However, she maintains that her dream won’t be shattered. It is through Beneatha’s heated argument with Walter and Ruth that we get to know of the racism that prevails among other people out there. When mama seeks to know who she is going out with that night, she answers that she is going out with George Murchison who again she assumes to be shallow. Even though Ruth says that he is rich, Beneatha objects because she thinks Ruth doesn’t understand, more especially since she married her brother. She refers to Murchison to be the only individuals in the world who are more arrogant than all the wealthy colored people.
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