Mulatto Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. When does the play begin? Who are the first two characters introduced? Describe them.

The play begins on a fall afternoon in 1930s Georgia. The first two characters introduced are Colonel Thomas Norwood, a plantation owner who is about 60, and Cora Lewis, Norwood's housekeeper and mistress of thirty years. She is in her forties.

2. About what are Norwood and Cora discussing, regarding Sallie and Robert?

As the action opens, Norwood and Cora are discussing the imminent departure of Cora's (and Norwood's) daughter Sallie for school. Talk quickly turns to another child, their son Robert ("Bert"), and the fact that he has taken the car into town without permission.

3. How does the Colonel feel about Robert's behavior?

The Colonel makes it clear that he is angry at Bert's disobedience and will not tolerate such insolence from a "darkie," especially his own child.

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