Racial Issues In Clara's Play

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The play takes place in four different places, a New York subway, the Tower of London, St. Peter’s Basilica and Harlem hotel. Kolin maintains that while each of these four locations is vastly different geographically and culturally, they merge in she’s mind to express the racial, religious and political conflicts in her subconscious” (55).By examining Clara’s life, the play discusses several important issues. Clara’s subway adventures stand for sexual issues which entrap Clara at times that lead Clara to face fear as the meeting of the Negro man. In her search for love, Clara picks men in the subway and takes them to Harlem hotel. Yet the love she actually needs is the love and acceptance of her father and her white ancestors. In fact, “the subway links the sexual and racial issues, although it entraps Clara [……..] and at times seems to propel her into encounters she fears, as with the Negro man” (McDonough 338). Clara, in the subway tries to attract men and bring them to her room in the Harlem Hotel. She represents the black woman taboo of being a professional prostitute. Both the subway and the room in the hotel represents the sexual relationship that Clara has with the men she picks up from the subway. Through the play, Kennedy asserts the idea that Clara is searching for acceptance and love but ironically turns to be the stereotype of every black woman in the white culture. Kennedy tries to portray the suffering of the black woman in a…show more content…
Paul’s chapel expresses Clara’s need for salvation and she seeks to have it by the white man’s religion. She tries to find salvation by the white culture but she is denied that help too. She cannot pass through her transformation into Virgin Marry as her mother wants her to be. Throughout the play, we find out that the mother is obsessed with her sexual purity rather than her racial oppression. She idealizes the image of Virgin Mary as a symbol of chastity that religion calls

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