The Blues I'm Playing Essay

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The central conflict which develops between the African American musician and her white patron in this story revolves around how each conceptualizes the role of "art," in this case music, in the artist's life. The rich, white Mrs. Ellsworth can, quite literally, "afford" to conceptualize "art" as separate from everyday necessities, such as earning a living. To Oceola, on the other hand, Mrs. Ellsworth's concern with "pure art" as an end in itself, separate from everyday life, is absurd, at best, "for she had never met anybody interested in pure art before. Just to be given thing's for art's sake seemed suspicious to Oceola."

The nature of this difference in perception is based in broader assumptions throughout White Western culture about the distinction between "pure" art and "folk" art, or "high" art and "low" art. "Pure" or "high" art has generally been considered distinct from any particular...

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This section contains 295 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Blues I'm Playing Study Guide
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The Blues I'm Playing from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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