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Mulatto: a Play Portraying Life in the South

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Manzanita
Words 1597
Pages 7
Nancy D. Jimenez
Ms. Kanavy
English 1302
September 20th 2013
Mulatto: A Play Portraying Life In The South In his two act play Mulatto, Hughes portraits the life of southern blacks in the 1930’s and their struggle to be acknowledged as equals. The play describes a white man torn between two worlds; a black woman suffering, like any mother would, over the misbehavior of her child, and finally a black man in the quest for acknowledgement. And the series of events that lead to the death of the two men. It shows specially the struggle of a young man in the middle of a clash of two ethnic groups. We can also see Hughes reflected in his character Robert. As the play starts the first character we find is the white plantation owner, Mr. Norwood. Norwood is the father of five children, William, Sallie, Robert, John, and Bertha who he has with his mistress Cora Lewis. He is torn between the not so evident love for his children and the pressure of society. As we hear him speaking to Cora we see he does love his children but also has to be strict with them, especially with Robert. Norwood points this out in his speech to Cora: Cora, if you want that hardheaded yellow son of yours to get along around here, he’d better listen to me. He’s no more than any other black buck on this plantation. How’s Talbot going to keep the rest of those darkies working right if that boy’s allowed to set that kind of an example? Just because Bert’s your son, and I’ve been damn fool enough to send him off t school for five or six years, he thinks he has right to privileges, acting as if he owned this place since he’s been back. (1255)
With this we notice that although he cares about Cora’s children, because he is paying for their school, he still expects them to act like colored people on the south should. The next character we see is Cora Lewis, a devoted mother…...

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