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Critical Analysis, Compare and Contrast Characters - Essay Example

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Walker Vessels and Clay from ‘Dutchman’ and ‘The Slave’: Critical Analysis Amiri Baraka, formerly known as, LeRoi Jones’ Dutchman and The Slave have often been regarded as the widely acclaimed plays in the modern world that unveiled the real status of blacks in America…
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Critical Analysis, Compare and Contrast Characters
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Download file to see previous pages The central character of the play, Clay has been presented as a twenty-year-old black man, or, a Negro. Here the playwright presents the Negro as the one compromising his own identity in order to maintain a peaceful relationship with his white oppressors. The playwright presents Clay as a typical bourgeois black male that Lula, his co-passenger, the representative of the whites, could easily recognize his life history. His way of dressing, style of speech and his demeanor help her recognizing his class, intellectual capacity and his very nature with full of pretensions. The story of the play occurs in the train journey where Clay is attracted to the sexy, young woman, Lula, who begins a taunting seduction of him and invites herself along to his friend’s party. But she suddenly violent racist words against him. Though Clay tries to control her with intellectual dexterity, he fails in his attempt and retaliates by slapping her twice and says that neuroses of black men can be cured with her murder. But she stabs him when he made his apology for his actions and bend to take his shoes. After murdering him, she instructs other passengers to help her to throw his body out of the train. The play ends when Lula approaches another black man in the same way she approached Clay by giving the audience the hint that the attitude of the whites to the blacks have a continuity. Walker Vessels is the central character of Amiri Baraka’s popular play The Slave. The play has been subtitled as "A Fable in a Prologue and Two Acts," in which an old field-slave, Walker Vessels provides a brief introduction to the play in the Prologue. When the play begins he appears on the stage as Black revolutionary Walker Vessels. Vessel meets with his former wife Grace, a White woman, to take his children with him. Vessels kills Grace's husband (Easley) as a Black revolutionary and appears as the old field-slave, as appeared in the prologue, when the play is concluded. The comparative study of the two characters brings out similarities as well as differences between the two characters, Walker Vessels in The Slave and Clay in Dutchman. The most important comparison between them is that both of them are Black Americans who had to undergo severe neglect and are subjected for mental torture. It is the ill treatment from the part of Lula that makes clay reacting and the same leads him to his tragic death. Regarding Vessels, he was also confronted with the neglecting attitude of his former wife, Easley, a white woman. But contrary to the behavior of Clay, Vessels decides to protest against the injustice and kills Easley’s husband and gets back his children, though it is not sure whether they survived war. Baraka presents the character of Vessels in a peculiar way; a person one who fluctuates from laughter to anger, from tenderness to cruelty, from Standard English to Black English; he even dances and makes up a song (Barrios). Comparing to Clay, Vessel is an eloquent person that he could use every means to express himself. A close observation of his way of expression reveals that his taking action is not only shown in his overt militancy but implicit in his spoken and body language of gesture and movement as well (Barrios). Comparing Vessel to a saxophone; which can produce different notes and sounds that convey multiple moods will be quite apt to describe his character. But Clay is not a man who tries to meddle ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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