Funnyhouse of a Negro Essay

Adrienne Kennedy
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In this essay, Petrusso explores two prominent symbols used in Kennedy's play.

Adrienne Kennedy's Funnyhouse of a Negro uses many symbols to underscore the torment that Sarah feels about herself and her racial identity. Nearly everyone and everything in the play has symbolic meaning from the opening depiction of Sarah's mother wearing a white nightgown to Raymond's smug explanation of what he believes to be the "truth" about his girlfriend because the play is nonlinear and fragmented.

Two of the most interesting and disturbing symbols in Funnyhouse are the obsession with hair and baldness throughout the text, and the use of knocking in some scenes.

Hair plays a complex role in Funnyhouse. It defines characters and marks their evolution. In addition, it is the prominent physical difference between black people and white people.

Hair also links scenes and illustrates Sarah's inevitable fate. Kennedy's use of hair underscores the...

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This section contains 1,784 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Funnyhouse of a Negro Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Funnyhouse of a Negro from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.