Notes of a Native Son - Study Guide Carmen Jones: The Dark Is Light Enough Summary & Analysis

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The third essay of the first section is another scathing critique of a piece of art, this time a movie, which Baldwin sees as dealing inadequately with the question of race. Carmen Jones was a 1955 film adaptation of Bizet’s opera Carmen directed by Otto Preminger.

The root idea of the film is a parallel between the amoral Gypsy woman in Bizet’s opera and an amoral Negro woman in a modern setting. This film is in contradiction with itself, however, because throughout the film one gets the sense this root idea is being consciously and awkwardly repudiated. In other words, the filmmakers, in deciding to make a Negro version of Carmen are implicitly saying blacks are amoral like Gypsies, but they are not comfortable saying this, so they have to assert in a forced and awkward way that Negroes are not...

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This section contains 882 words
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