The Purple Flower Essay

Marita Bonner
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Clearly, The Purple Flower conforms to neither of the two dominant philosophies guiding African American theater in the 1920s. While the revolutionary message of The Purple Flower is in keeping with the goals of propaganda plays endorsed by W. E. B. Du Bois, its emphatic non-realism violates DuBois's dictum that "plays of a real Negro theater" must "reveal Negro life as it is". The Purple Flower's surrealism distinguishes it as well from the "folk" (or "inner-life") plays promoted by Alain Locke and Montgomery. Gregory at Howard University. For while Locke and Gregory disagreed with DuBois's famous injunction that "all Art is propaganda and ever must be," they shared his approval of formal realism, arguing that "the only avenue of genuine achievement in American drama for the Negro lies in the development of the rich veins of folk-tradition of the past and in the portrayal of the authentic life...

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This section contains 1,000 words
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Buy The Purple Flower Study Guide
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The Purple Flower from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.