CHARACTER LULA and CLAY ON DUTCHMAN PLAY
by: Amir Baehaqi
Faculty Of Letters.
Untag Surabaya Univesity
Character is one of the parts of story beside theme, setting and plot. But reading a Character is more difficult than reading a plot, because it is more complex, variable and ambiguous. Anyone can repeat what person had done I a story, but to describe what she is like, is needed some skills. In The Dutchman Clay and Lula are main Characters
The victim in Dutchman is Clay, and this is a play about hatred. But why Lula violently kills Clay with wild and raw ob! literation, ending this carefully. In his analysis writer will describe each characters, the main point between Clay and Lula. Beside Clay and Lula, there is other Character as the Young Negro and the Conductor. The Conductor is quick soft shoe shuffle before exiting the rail car is symbolic of the way blacks expressed than the young Negro is the other passengers throw Clay’s dead body off of the train. Like Clay, he carries some books, indicative of his intellectual ambitions.
II. Review of the related Literature
This is very important feature of the narrative form of literature compared with the creation of people who give a sense of live qualities and possibilities. Involves inconsistency character is a poorone. If some character suddenly change his way of acting for no apparent or convicing reason, just to give the tale a happy ending, we have that the fault of characterisation which is known as having people act. Not merely presenting us with two unconected states of mind, unles there is some special point in doing so.
One extreme of the dramatic methode is the modern device of the interior monologue, or stream of conciuousnes tecnique. The flow of imppression and thoughts passing trough some character’s mind from moment to moment. But characters summed up tend to seem a little lifeless. Much interest is created when character have different ideas about another character, or false ideas about themselves.
Conflict contrast and missunderstanding are but a few obvious relationship beetween character. Type characterisations is the simplification of character down to one or character qualities. It can be entertaining even though is not realistic. Type characterization is to be found in the morality play, in which the characters represent qualities.
No simple scheme can do justice to all the possibilities of characterisation, but considering of the foolowing points should help the student make a sound beginning.
1. Basic Characteristic
1) Physical (age, phsycal, oddities,etc).
2) Social relationship(personal relationship with other character in the work; wider social relationship such as social class, occupation).
3) Mental qualities (type ways of thinking, feeling and acting).
2. Appearance from various point of view.
1) How to character sees himself.
2) How variousother characters see him.
3) How develops, or fails to develop, during the course of the story.
3. Place in work.
1) Treatment by the author. (Sketched of fully sounded?porrayed descriptively or dramatically? Treated sympathecally or unsympathecally?).
2) Place in the story. ( A leading character or a minor one? A fed?).
3) Relationship to the theme. Does the character exsemplify or embody something important that the author has to say?. Use these mine points as a framework for the following exercises.
Clay is a twenty-year-old black man, or, a Negro man. The distinction is that a Negro, according to the playwright’s nominative system, is one who compromises his own identity in order to maintain a peaceful relationship with his white oppressors. Clay is a typical bourgeois black male, so predictably bourgeois that Lula is able to tell his life history by the evidence of his dress, his demeanor, and his style of speech (middle class, intellectual, full of pretensions).
Clay is at first attracted to the sexy, young woman who begins a taunting seduction of him and invites herself along to his friend’s party. But her sudden mood swings and unexpectedly violent racist language shock him. Even so, he maddeningly humiliates himself in his attempts to maintain his composure at all costs and to match her violence with intellectual dexterity. For some reason he is intrigued by her, as though she is some kind of social test he desperately wants not to fail. But the sordid truth is that it is his very anxiety to prove himself worthy to her (white cultural) values that causes him to fail this test. For Clay, who dreamed in college of being a black Baudelaire (a famous French poet), is a member of the black bourgeoisie (upwardly mobile middle class), a white wannabe.
Clay recognizes the compromises he has made, yet shirks from committing the murder of whites that would absolve him of compromise. He takes refuge in the fortress of his words. He warns Lula, however, that the cultural conditioning of blacks could backfire, since they soon may be able to rationalize their murders as whites do. Lula’s symbolic murder of him serves to quiet him, but it is also merely an extreme version of the social murder he submits to in prostituting his manhood by conforming to white values.
The Caucasian Lula is a thirty-year-old femme fatale who alternately seduces and insults Clay. She is a mythical apple-offering Eve to his clumsy and naive Adam. Lula is the embodiment of western civilization, seductive and ferociously greedy, relentless, but also psychotic, lonely, trapped by her own cultural identity. There is never a sense, as there is with Clay, that a real beating heart lies behind her cultural armor. Instead, she is the mythical all-devouring female, mindlessly dispatching with
The old conductor is the stereotypical, black character (characters who would often dance and sing to delight whites) who seems content with his lowly station in relation to whites. His quick soft shoe shuffle before exiting the rail car is symbolic of the way blacks expressed their suppressed freedom through artistic forms such as dance, music, and song. Clay. But the reality is that, at the play’s close, the conductor is alive while Clay is dead. Clay’s manhood (and later his dead body) so that she can attend to her next victim. She is programmed to destroy, she simply follows the path, placing her feet “one in front of the other.”
This process of oppression bores Lula, and she occasionally lapses into a daze and makes morbid comments on her fantasized seduction (“You’ll call my rooms black as a grave. You’ll say, ‘This place is like Juliet’s tomb’”). She lets loose strings of racist insults when Clay fails to succumb to her seduction and “rub bellies” with her in a crazy erotic dance. She cannot abide the brutal honesty of Clay’s final speech, in which he is finally truthful about his fate and his reluctance to change it. But her irritation only reminds her of her duty, to dispatch with this victim and move on to the next.
Ostensibly Lula’s subsequent victim. The young black man of about twenty boards right after Lula and the other passengers throw Clay’s dead body off of the train. Like Clay, he carries some books, indicative of his intellectual ambitions. Like Clay, too, Lula entices him with her gaze, and her mythical, ritual cycle of racial hostility begins anew.
In the Dutchman there are two main Characters Clay and Lula. Clay and Lula is still a dramatist. Dutchman is about the difficulty of becoming a man in America.” The boy who is desperately trying to become a man” is Clay, twenty-year-old Negro. Lula, beautiful young white woman on the make, sits next to Clay on the subway. In brilliant dialogue Clay’s lack of place is revealed to the audience. He does not belong, for he does not acknowledge his blackness. Clay is a typical bourgeois black male, so predictably bourgeois that Lula is able to tell his life history by the evidence of his dress, his demeanor, intellectual ambition, and his style of speech
Lula has him pegged: “You’re a well-known type,” and “I know you like the palm of my hand.” He is a suburbanite, living in New Jersey with his parents; in college he thought of himself as Baudelaire. Never did he think of himself as a black nigger. He is a poser, not a man; he does not acknowledge what he is. Lula takes hold of his jacket and shouts: “Boy, those narrow-shoulder clothes come from a tradition you ought to feel oppressed by. A three-button suit and striped tie? Your grandfather was a slave, he didn’t go to Harvard.” Lula’s symbolic murder of him serves to quiet him, but it is also merely an extreme version of the social murder he submits to in prostituting his manhood by conforming to white values. She is a mythical apple-offering Eve to his clumsy and naive Adam. Lula is the embodiment of western civilization, seductive and ferociously greedy, relentless, but also psychotic, lonely, trapped by her own cultural identity.
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