The River Niger Essay

Joseph A. Walker
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Author Chester Fontenot examines the dichotomy between mythic and linear conceptions of history, focusing on how Walker's The River Niger seeks to resolve this conflict.

There are a number of ways one might approach setting criteria for evaluating Afro-American drama. We might say, for instance, that a significant number of these plays employ reversals of the American minstrel tradition, and thus move from tragedy into satire and farce (i.e., Douglas Turner Ward's Day of Absence). Or we could say that some plays use the mysticism of Black folk tradition as a basis for building their character types (i.e., Jean Toomer's Balo and Adrienne Kennedy's The Owl Answers). We may argue that Black music (spirituals, blues, jazz) provides the key, so to speak, which enables us to decode a large number of Afro-American plays. And, finally, we could trace the development of Afro-American drama thematically by ascertaining...

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This section contains 3,972 words
(approx. 10 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The River Niger Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The River Niger from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.