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Essay about Language in Amiri Baraka's The Dutchman

Project id 1012470
Subject area Other
Document type Essay
Words 3046
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Language in Amiri Baraka's The Dutchman The favorite saying "actions speak louder than words" is upended at Amiri Baraka's drama, The Dutchman, in which words, or in this instance terminology, speaks louder compared to the actions of the characters, Lula and Clay. Language governs the personalities and their actions, and is indeed a notable feature in shaping the identities of Lula and Clay. In the drama, Baraka communicates the significance of Lula and Clay being allowed to change their identities by a very simple shift in the type of language they use. Although it might appear that the figures have dominion over the language and can shape their own identities with a very simple shift in the speech they utilize, through reproduction of the concurring themes of myths, lying, pretending to be somebody else, and diction, Baraka conveys the idea that language superintends the characters' actions and identities, and is employed as an escape from reality for Lula, a white lady, and as a way of survival for Clay, a black guy. How language shapes the individuality of these personalities Lula and Clay is prominent from the repeating theme of lying in the drama. Lula asserts that she "lie[s] all of the time" (27). By bending, she is trying to form an identity for himself. But exactly what she fails to see is that rather than her lies putting her in charge of creating an identity for herself, the language she uses by lying forms her individuality. Thus the language of lies, as an outside force, is the shaper of her identity, rather than the simple fact that she chooses to lie. Since Lula is constantly lying during the play, she's a static character. Her identity as a static character is so once again shaped by the simple fact that she lies all of the time. By bending Lula.

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