Funnyhouse of a Negro

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Funnyhouse of a Negro was written in a dreamlike style. It deals more with ethnic stereotypes than the idea of slavery. It was written in such a way that it evokes an emotional and psychological response from the reader or audience. Funnyhouse discusses racial discrimination and the mental and emotional stresses of the main character, Sarah. This play took a look into the tortured mind of Sarah, a college student, also referred to as “Negro”. In order to understand what is going on in Sarah’s mind, it is crucial to understand her past. Sarah’s mother, a light-skinned woman with Caucasian hair, met her father, a dark man. They went to Africa together, where Sarah’s mother learned she was not in love with him. He got drunk and raped her because he was angry that she didn’t want to be with him. Sarah was born out of the rape and was raised by a mother who lost her mind and a father who, out of guilt, hallucinated. The play continued on to describe Sarah’s views of her father, his suicide, and her own suicide caused by her incapability to connect with her past or her cultural roots.

It is evident throughout the play that Sarah was ashamed of anything dark. Her mother was half black and her father full, but she only associated negative things with dark colors. Many times in the play, Sarah mentions that her father is dark. There is a sense of fear in how she speaks as well as a sense of shame. “…he is black, the blackest of them all. I hoped he was dead. Yet he still comes through the jungle to find me.”(3) She fears that he might find her and rape her like he did her mother. Sarah is not capable of embracing her black roots because the only person she knows that is black is her father, a terrible person. Between each of her scene segments, there is a BLACKOUT. Since the play is remarkably like a dream, the blackouts symbolize the end of a thought. It is clear that Sarah is struggling mentally. Her mother was in an asylum, and her father was...
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