Criticism of Racism in The Dutchman by LeRoi Jones Free Essay

A Look at the Problem of Racism in the Play the Dutchman by Leroy Jones

 

In the play “The Dutchman” written by LeRoi Jones, a legendary African American playwright, journalist, and activist of the Black Arts movement, due attention is paid to the issues of slavery, racial inequality, and oppression. This play is aimed at proving severe criticism of racism through representation of complicated relationships between whites and blacks caused by the lack of recognition of black culture, values, and beliefs.

In fact, the plot of the play shows the establishment of relationships between a white woman Lula and a black man Clay, who met in the train. Their long conversation reflects their cultural and racial identities and, finally, leads to the conflict, which portrays racist attitudes of whites toward blacks. Lula manipulates Clay, when she asks him to invite her to the party and tells him about her desire to have sex with him after the party. Clay feels psychological tension that comes from Lula’s words. He does not believe her and uses his aggression to stop this conversation. His monologue shows that Clay does not want to accept racial discrimination, humiliation, and oppression. The main characters act the way they act because they are taught to respond to racism in this way. Lula is cynical, while Clay is aggressive. He says, “Murder. Just murder! Would make us all sane. [Suddenly weary)

Ahhh. Shit. But who needs it? I’d rather be a fool. Insane. Safe with my words, and no deaths, and clean, hard thoughts, urging me to new conquests” (Jones 76). Both characters are not ready to combat racism. As a result, Lula acts as a cold—blooded killer when she stabs Clay to his heart and asks other passengers to throw his body out of the train car.

Thus, the play “The Dutchman” is considered to be a literary work that criticizes racism through depiction of the so-called ideological struggle for racial equality. LeRoi is highly motivated to combat  racism through portrayal of the immoral actions of his characters, when Clay tells that he wants to kill all whites, while Lula kills him to stop his plans.

Works Cited

Jones, LeRoi. “The Dutchman” In Dutchman and the Slave. HarperCollins, 1971.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 26, 2021]
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