Amiri Baraka Writing Styles in Dutchman

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Allegory

Dutchman's stage directions suggest that the subway is "heaped in modern myth." This phrase alerts the reader to the presence of allegorical meaning. Allegory presents an abstract Idea in the guise of a concrete image and symbolic elements in the work point to the allegorical meaning. Thus the story of Clay and Lula holds more significance than the chance encounter of two individuals on a subway. Clues to the structure of the allegory, which is a kind of extended metaphor that organizes the story, exist in the symbols of the play: the apple, the subway, and the name, "Clay," which seems to refer to Adam, who was made of clay; in this context, Clay is the black everyman.

In Dutchman, the key to the allegorical meaning of the relationship between Clay and Lula lies in the relationship between Adam and Eve. Eve (innocently or not, depending upon one's...

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This section contains 782 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Dutchman Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Dutchman from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.