The play Dutchman
In the play Dutchman, the author has stipulated a couple of trigger points that make the reader of the play create certain mental images. Amiri Baraka brings out some trigger points at the beginning of the play. Firstly, the author has chosen a young Negro and a white lady as the main characters. This is a major trigger point. It brings out the diversity of race due to the racial differences between Clay and Lula. The characters have a significant difference in age too, Clay being twenty and Lula being thirty. The difference in race as well as age between the two characters evokes a lot of thought for the reader or a person watching the play. This is so since interaction between the two in the play is in a flirtatious way. The lady Lula in a joking tone asks Clay whether he thinks she wanted to pick him up for them to have sex later. This raises the thought of such women who search for young men to satisfy their romantic needs.
The author also shows that the idea of women stalking young men have gotten into the latter’s heads. This is so since it is evident that Clay seems to be of the idea that Lula intends to exploit him for her romantic gain.
The author shows women with mid-life crisis in this play. From the conversation between Clay and Lula, the latter is portrayed as a very perverted aging woman. It is normal that at some age women quits some behaviors such as flirting with young boys, the urge of attending parties and so on. On the contrary, Lula has not given up this habit. She actually comes to Clay from the time she spots him inside the train, sits next to him and strikes a conversation. Though both seem to be of the idea of being with each other, it is Lula who provokes Clay into such thought. Socially or conventionally, such act from Lula is not appropriate. Women of such age as Lula should play a different role in the society such as guiding young adults such as Clay. When she asks Clay whether he would be willing to take her to Warren’s party, it comes to light that she does not care about people’s judgment when they see her and Clay together. The manner and confidence in which she approaches and drives her conversation with Clay shows that maybe she is used to randomly picking young men in places she goes.
The author goes ahead in the play to portray the great disparity between black and white people. At a point Clay mentions that his uncle is a watchman. This shows the low place in society that black people were placed by society at the time of the play. On the other hand, Lula is a successful poet who is obviously rich and seeks the company of the young man Clay. There is also a difference in political backgrounds. Lula begins by saying that she comes from a democrat family. Clay replies by saying that his mother is a republican. From this, the author portrays the vast difference between black and white people. It comes to the mind f the reader of the play to contemplate the vast difference race brings to people. If one would switch the characters, the whole act would play out right. It would look socially okay for a thirty-year-old man flirting with a twenty-year-old girl. This so since men are known to prefer women much younger than them.
In recent plays based on the same subject matter of racial differences, the Dutchman play is of comparison and contrast. In a recent movie named Django, black people were actually being sold as slaves to work in white people farms. In this particular movie a black person gains the trust of his master and he elevates him to his assistant teaching him how to live like a white man. The play and the movie can be comparable in the basis of the vast racial differences between black and white people shown. Both the play and the movie tell that black and white people had differences in economic, social as well as political sense.