The Immortal Stereotypes of People
Politician Ed Koch once said, “Stereotypes lose their power when the world is found to be more complex than the stereotype would suggest. When we learn that individuals do not fit the group stereotype, then it begins to fall apart.” This is a powerful quote which applies to the play The Dutchman. The Dutchman takes place on a train in 1964. The play centers around two characters named Clay and Lula. Clay is an educated 21 year old African American man. Lula is a thirty year old lower class white woman. The play opens with Clay staring out of the train window as it approaches its next stop. Clay notices Lula staring at him from the outside. They both exchange smiles. Lula boards the train and meets with him at his seat. She sits down with Clay and they begin talking. Lula is an interesting woman. She has a very egocentric attitude. She accuses Clay of checking her out when he was looking out the window. This was not the case, however it was Lula's way of enticing Clay. During the 1960's the civil rights movement was happening. Black people were gaining more rights, however women were not yet. While Clay is moving up in society, Lula remains at the bottom. She manipulates him in order to gain his trust and than provokes him by using common stereotypes. Towards the end of the play, Lula continues using stereotypes to provoke Clay. The gradually get more racist. Finally, Clay gets tired of it and yells at Lula. She uses this opportunity to stab him in the chest twice, killing him. Lula was jealous of Clay and the rest of the African American culture for becoming more accepted in society, while women are still being oppressed. In order to justify her actions, she uses the excuse of an angry black man going crazy and yelling at her. During the 1960's black people were gaining more rights, however most people were still viewing them as the same. Stereotypes are the first walls to break through when associating with a member of another...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document