Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Essay

This Study Guide consists of approximately 49 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
This section contains 1,199 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Study Guide

Semansky's essays, stories, reviews, and poems appear regularly in literary magazines and journals. In this essay, Semansky considers the blues as a mode of communication in Wilson's play.

In his preface to the play, Wilson writes this about the blues: "It is hard to define this music. Suffice it to say that it is music that breathes and touches. That connects. That is in itself a way of being separate and distinct from any other." By positioning the blues as a form of communication, Wilson underscores his desire that the audience watch the play as they would listen to the blues, for its emotional impact, rather than its plot. Although Wilson tells us how the blues work, he doesn't tell us what they are.

Historically, the word blues emerged from black American folk music. It denotes both a form of music and a melancholic state of mind as...

(read more from the Critical Essay #1 section)

This section contains 1,199 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Study Guide
Copyrights
Drama for Students
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.