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The cultural context - Essay Example

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Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks Introduction: Topdog/Underdog is a famous play written by Suzan-Lori Parks which won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in the year 2002. Basically, the idea of the play is derived from the writer’s previous work, The American Play during 1995, where the character Foundling Founder’s obsession with Abraham Lincoln made him play as the man in many sideshows…
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The cultural context
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The cultural context

Download file to see previous pages... Overview: Topdog/Underdog is a story about two Afro-American brothers in their 30’s racing with life, with each other and with themselves. They were named as Lincoln and Booth by their alcoholic and adulterous father as a practical joke. They were both abandoned by their parents at their early age, thus, they struggled through life with each other’s companion and help. The older brother Lincoln, who was just kicked-out by his ex-wife from their house, lived together with his younger brother Booth in a shabby, lowly and dilapidated boarding house room. He continuously reminisce his past life where he was at his prime with his wife and with a blooming career as a card expert on a con game of three-card monte. He gave up his natural skills and career with cards after he witnessed the death of his street partner. He just settled for a dry and monotonous career posing as President Abraham Lincoln reenacting the final hours of his life. Customers came and shoot him with a cap gun. Because he’s black, he’s supposed to wear a white-face make-up and dress up like the president. Booth on the other hand is an ambitious, impulsive, impatient and arrogant guy. He wanted to gain fortune in an instant, thus, he practiced his brother’s skill in three-card monte quite religiously. ...
All throughout the play, the dialogues exchanged by the two brothers reveal their competition with each other. They thrive to control one another where at a given moment one successfully gained control over the other only to have the situation reversed at another moment. They encourage, insult, tease and support each other. The brother’s heavy dialogues reveal the characteristics of the two as misguided, impoverished and illusory yet in all essence showcase very human realities. The play ended quite explosively where the younger brother Booth pulled the trigger against his older brother Lincoln. It was a violent scene but remarked by the play writer as very significant. Their names may have predestined their fate but the play writer has something deeper in the sense of the whole play. There are a lot impacts that the play has touched both in the historical, social, racial and cultural context. Impact of Topdog/Underdog: Topdog/Underdog is a story of life. It reveals the harsh reality of life with a touch of humor. The brothers’ characters are able to captivate the audience with their humor, insults, encouragement and other emotions trailed on the many heavy dialogues exchanged with one another. The story reveals the reality of life as a dog-eat-dog world. It is a story relative to the many stories that have been known throughout history where the race between two fraternal rivals is showcased. There have been many stories about it such as Cain and Abel or Remus and Romulus (Bradford). The two brothers are racing against life. Their dreams in contrast with the real outcome happening in their lives are just but shadows of what is really happening in this harsh world. In fact, the scenarios revealed in their dialogues are just but human and very normal events ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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Cultural Context
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