Leroi Jones wrote The Dutchman to let viewers know what happened in history. It was a play of Racism against African American and it was carefully revealed on stage and was played out magnificently by the characters. The author presented his point of view when it comes about racism, prejudice and rampant discrimination in the society. It gives emphasis on black oppression which is done by majority of the white society. Summary The Dutchman was set in New York City and the focus was on the two characters who was riding the New York subway.
The first character is the young and intelligent African American man named Clay. Based on his dialogue and costume, he is a well educated man. The author portrayed him as the newly emerging class of educated African Americans. The character of Clay clearly represent the personality of the author and his words in the Dutchman manifests the author’s viewpoints in life. The other character is named Lula. She is a white womana nd her charcteristics were purely based on the culture of White America. Lula represents a sophisticated woman.
The description of Lula is not difficult to grasp of who she really is and not difficult to locate in an ordinary society. The issue begins to flame when she started to talk. His talk really breaks the game and directs the theme of the play and directs the rule of the game. As she is talking, she invests herself deliberately in a situation of imprecision, irregularity and mysteriousness. His words and move is expressed in a premeditated manner and loaded with significant issue. The opening of the play cycles around looking in and looking at.
After Lula went into the car, she sits beside Clay and the stage course reads: “It is apparent that she is going to sit in the seat next to CLAY, and that she is only waiting for him to notice her before she sits” (Kumar, 2007). After some talk, eventually, the conversation turned into what Clay looks like. The actions and speech of Lula is invested intentionally and with motive. The play initially captures both racial and sexual tension between Clay and Lula. Although at first the two excahnges playful conversation towards each other. Later on, Lula is mocking Clay and was become more provocative towards him.
She ridiculled Clay for his way of dressing and speaking. Lula wanted to deprived him for acting like a white intellectual man. After too much insults that he received from Lula, Clay then realized that there are hatred and bitterness behind her sexual advances. He reacted to this by rising up with anger and even threatened her verbally of killing her. His mocking of the white people lead to his death in the end. After all his speeches and declarations of the white people’s ignorance, Lula stabbed Clay in front of the people who were also riding the same train.
Seeing the tragic incident, none of the people reacted or even offer a single help. The play ends tragically with the death of Clay. The twist of the play is that Lula is seen approaching another black man like Clay. The end shows the audience that the cycle of brutality and discrimination goes on and on. The play lacks the aspect of presenting optimism and hope. No one among the black and white characters demonsrates traces of heroism in the play. Although, society on a superficial level puts great emphasis on diversity, inclusion and equal rights but it is not embedded in the fabrics of society.
Minorities are still viewed with hatred and contempt. Black and White stereotypes are present unitl today in spite of all the public awareness. Analysis There are elements in the play that presents symbolism of resistance against black raising racism. The play also shows how the author greatly opposed the violence against the black community. Such violence is seen to continuously happen as a cycle. And that violence against black community would seemingly happen in a cycle throughout and trying to give sympathy to white community about the situations and feelings of black against white racism.
The conversation between the two major characters also made the theme and the conflict more visible. She was seen eating apple while talking to Clay and as the bible says, apple presents something sinful. The element of the apple made a notion that there is something evil that will happen. It was seen that Lula has her own intentions of doing something bad against Clay. The stereotyping of people in relation to other people was also apparent in the play. The apple reveals the whole intentions of Lula, the outlawed fruit idea and all.
The conversation between Clay and Lula symbolizes the never-ending controversy about racial criticisms. Upon Clay’s dialogue that he doesn’t know any information about Lula, it indicates something that she is a famous person. This is a great insult for her because she wanted to be patronized by every person that she converse with. The manner of Lula’s conversation with clay directs him to be controlled by her. She insisted to hade their whole conversation which eventually leads to her revelation of what her real intention is. Dutchman is an angry play and this leads to a cruel ending.
It articulates the complexities of the year 1964 and how it is carried out until today. The rampant harsh judgment against people of the black race and how it affects relationship among people in the society was clearly presented. In the last part of the play, it observed the appearance of Black Nationalist credo. It is just the symbol of the importance of African American literature where students can gain knowledge. There is no hero seen on the play. No trace of hopefulness, enlightenment, sanguinity, and buoyancy was traced. It basically points out to several fault of society and its people as a whole.
The said flaw is about the way white people are against the blacks. Throughout the long conversation of Clay and Lula, many things were exposed. Audiences became more aware of the social inequalities and how the society continuously rekindles it. At that time, racial relation is already heightened but still the stereotypes of white and black society is still present. Stereotypes were present in the play. The people who witnessed the attack of Lula to Clay never minded to intervene because they normally see white people who ridicule black people.
Instead of waging a war in opposing racial discrimination, the situation continuously revives and reawakens the society of racial kin. Stereotypes are the first to break the racial issue associating with another race. Stereotypes symbolize not just the single person but the people in general. In the play, it represents the white people unawareness about black before although they already know it. In the play’s ending, the most oppressing situation was seen. It meaningfully points out the despotism and cruelty for the browbeaten.
The tyranny can be evidently heard from the lines of Lula and the scenes that presented total humiliation for Clay. In addition, when a person is murdered, there’s no second thought of occurrence given. This metaphor discloses the society’s ignorance about the human suffering. The unawareness and unconscious of every individual is portrayed when people around the situation acts like nothing happened. The pattern of this racial relations is cyclical as it is shown when black people sits near Lula. The treatment of Lula to Clay is not really new to her for it is part of her second nature.
The plot of the play is exposed and plain and simple. The first part of the play already reveals the first part of the understanding of the subject matter until it ends where the general theme is uncovered. The conversation of the two main characters, Lula and Clay, unveiled the general theme and issue of what the play conveys. In addition to the comments in the play, one problem aroused is the language itself is indeterminate, causing a subjective point of view to the language used and with endless possibilities of meaning open in it.
Language can be put into work but its meaning cannot be put into visibility. Language is used anywhere in any subjects of conversation but might go on to highlight. One can play the game but sometimes you can never ascertain who is playing or playing seriously. Lula’s typecast of Clay diverged pointedly with her portrayal of herself as uncertain, irregular and capricious. The efforts of Clay to find out and fix Lula’s image are refused in a disillusioned kind of manner. In the line “I told you I wasn’t an actress …
but I also told you I lie all the time”, what ever she tells about Clay comes as a surprise to him. Lula’s clear randomness takes place in a sinister and menacing manner as she ordered Clay’s body out, starts getting everything in regulation. The suggestion of the intentional plan of Lula in the play comes up when the direction reads “begins very premeditatedly to smile”. In the play, her consciousness and intentions of self-motives hang about as her sign of unpredictability and instability. Lula’s acuity of Clay is a series of stereotyped being thrown against him without any apology.
The most reproachful element of the stereotyped pictures in the play is the black sexuality. As conversation goes on, Clay formed a sexual interest toward the woman. Although, it integrates to her, they are all set on the conjecture of naughty and unruly sexual energy in Clay. The own interpretation of Lula’s image against black is not discouraged by Clay’s attempt to deviate her notion about them and plays the game of seduction and provocation. When Lula pierced him, it is not visible in the play the reason behind the killing.
It is either the sexual interest to her or the image that is brought by the man. The words and speech of Clay is the series of disclosure and exposure of issue. Conclusion During the period of slavery and racial racism in the United States, many African American people suffered from the oppression and tyranny of whites. The Play “Dutchman” is an implication and reflection about the Whites dominating power and Blacks sufferings. The hatred of Lula against Clay represents how white race hates people of the opposite color whenever they got the chance of having educated and having a stable financial status.
It also depicts the scenario of the ignorance of the white people as early as 1960’s and until today. The collective totalitarian belief and the absence of sympathy for the subjugated individuals are also part of the themes tackled by the author. This is presented in the paly during the part that Clay was attacked by Lula and yet life is unfair for him that lead him to his death. The train is a clear representation of all complains and whims of Lula which never ralizes the unfairness of the situation for Clay. He was murdered in front of a crwod that never raised any concern nor sympathy for him.