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Dutchman

Imamu Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman is a play rooted in symbolism. It can be traced throughout the entire play: the language, the setting, the plot, the movement, the dialogue, and even the title, Dutchman, itself. Baraka does a good job intertwining both the realistic and symbolic in effort to get his theme across. Baraka’s fierceness and intensity really help to develop the symbolic nature of the play. This symbolism can be particularly seen in the exchanges between the two main characters; Clay, a rather well spoken and reserved Negro and Lula, a disreputable white girl. Immediately, it is obvious that racism and the plight of the Negro are the points or symbolic themes that Baraka is trying to portray. Baraka’s feelings on this subject are evident in his tone of range and anger. Lula plays a tantalizing and provocative role, constantly fooling around with words of racism and with Clay himself. “Come on Clay, let’s do the thing…You middle-class black bastard. Forget your social-working mother for a few seconds and let’s knock stomachs. Clay you liver-lipped white man. You would be Christian. You ain’t no nigger, you’re just a dirty white man…That’s all you know…shaking that wildroot cream-oil on your knotty head, jackets buttoning up to your chin, so full of white man’s words.” Lula is a mere symbol of our civilization and particularly the Caucasian society in its ignorance of the black race. But all races are so quick to jump to conclusions and stereotype people without looking beyond their appearance. That is why she is a symbol of our entire civilization, not just one race. Her exhibition with Clay is all a game to her. I do not think she understands the harsh impact of her words, especially to a black man, just as many would not. After a while of Lula tantalizing and provoking Clay during the train ride, Clay’s fury is unleashed. “ Lula’s severity precipitates Clay’s outr...

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Dutchman. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 02:45, September 02, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/94072.html