Dutchman Discussion Questions

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Ironically, when Baraka moved Dutchman to a Harlem theater in order to reach a black audience, the play was quickly rejected by the audiences because they saw it as promoting hatred of whites. Is this a racist, white-hating play?

Clay's reaction to Lula is infuriating because he desperately tries to maintain his composure, his "mask" of bourgeois pretensions, in the face of her ever-more vitriolic racist jibes. Why doesn't he simply ignore her, move to another seat, or ask her to leave him alone? What is the significance of his "fatal attraction" to her?

When Clay finally reacts in outrage. his outburst proves cathartic to the audience as well as to himself. Aristotle in his Poetics suggested that catharsis is the objective of all tragedy that feelings of pity and fear raised in the audience would be purged by the resolution of the tragedy. Over time...

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This section contains 315 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Dutchman Study Guide
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Dutchman from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.