Jitney August Wilson on Patrimony

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August Wilson wrote the play “Jitney” about a group of African-American men working in a Jitney cab station in Pittsburg during 1977. The play explores the lives of the characters, each dealing with a different quarrel in their lives. They are all brought together by the Jitney station in which we are able to explore their characters through Wilson’s expertly written dialogue. The play explores racism, economic anxiety, gender roles amongst other things; however, one of the main concepts of the play, and the one this paper will focus on is on the patriarchal role. There is an emphasis on the dominant male figure in the play in several of the relationships. There are different types of patriarchs shown; Becker as a head of the Jitney station, Becker as Boosters father and Youngblood’s relationship with Rena portray the most apparent patriarchal roles. Wilson introduces the concept of patriarchy with the workers of the Jitney station. Becker can be considered to be the head, leader or father figure for the station. The audience is introduced to this by the scene design; on stage there is “a sign that reads Becker’s rules: 1. No overcharging; 2. Keep car clean; 3. No drinking; 4. Be courteous; 5. Replace and clean tools”. Becker’s role as a patriarch for the Jitney driver’s revolves around these rules in direct and indirect ways. For example, Becker has to confront fielding about his drinking; he threatens to fire Fielding so he actually abides. Additionally, Becker resolves conflict between the character, especially between Turnbo and Youngblood. For instance, when Youngblood brings Turnbo coffee and Turnbo does not want to pay back the thirty cents. Another instance is when Turnbo and Youngblood get in a quarrel because Turnbo accuses Youngblood of running around with peaches and such. Wilson creates a very interesting patriarchal figure with Becker, in regards to his relationship with Booster. Becker is the respectable owner of the Jitney station...
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