Color Struck a Psychoanalytical Perspective

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Running Head: EMMA FROM A PSYCHOANALYTICAL PERSPECTIVE 1

Color Struck

Running Head: EMMA FROM A PSYCHOANALYTICAL PERSPECTIVE 2

When considering a piece of literature from a psychoanalytical critical perspective, the concealed motives of a character are uncovered by analyzing their actions. The play, Color Struck, acts out a series of events from a train ride, to a cake walk contest, to a heartbreaking loss on both the physical and emotional levels. Through the psychoanalytical analysis of Emma, it is clear to see that she misinterprets unconscious insecurity as jealousy and also mistakes her self-proclaimed jealousy for love.

The insecurities that Emma masks as jealousy are illustrated several times within the drama. The first glimpse the audience gets of this jealousy is through the statement Emma makes when accusing her bow, John, of looking at another girl, “You wuz. I seen you looking jes lake a possum” (Hurston, 2010, Scene 1). Again you see her jealousy emerge when she makes statements such as, “Course you'd say so cause it's her. Everything she do is pretty to you” (Hurston, 2010, Scene 1), and, “Cause, cause all them girls is going to pulling and hauling on you, and-“ (Hurston, 2010, Scene 2). As established with these quotations, along with numerous others throughout the play, the reader gains insight into Emma’s exaggerated jealousy. However, through deeper analysis, it becomes clear that what Emma labels as jealousy has its roots in a personal insecurity of her skin color. Several times the audience is presented with Emma’s unrestrained allegations that specifically refer to, “… yaller faces” (Hurston, 2010, Scene 1). Examples of Emma’s unconscious insecurity are portrayed within these allegations. For instance, “Oh-them yaller wenches! How I hate em! They gets everything they wants-“ (Hurston, 2010, Scene 2), and, “He's in there with her-Oh, them half whites, they gets everything, they gets everything...
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