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How Do You Like Them Apples A Critical Analysis of Amiri Barakas Dutchman Composed during the writers so-called Transitional Period Leroi JonesAmiri Barakas Dutchman is a work that has confounded audiences with its political allusion to the biblical story of Adam and Eve since its conception and presentation some 37 years ago The writers own evolution is reflected in his protagonists movement away from the whipped and bound assimilated Black male toward the postures of a radical poet screaming his madness into the face of the white world The play opens with Clay a young black poet on his way to a friends party Glancing through the window of the subway car he rides he sees Lula an attractive white woman Seemingly intrigued by his glance Lula boards the train and introduces herself Over the course of the slow train ride Lula and Clay alternately seduce and repel each other until Lula drives Clay to his feet and towards his destiny Clays questions and desires fears and triumphs all ring from the sound of deep reflection Dutchman emulated the ideas of the avant-garde theater at the same time that it reflected the questions posed by African Americans to whites in the 1960s particularly the question of the possibility of a black-white alliance In his embrace of the semiotic methods of playwriting of his post-modern contemporaries Samuel Beckett Waiting for Godot to give one example Baraka gives Lula a bag of apples as her central prop Throughout the play the villainess temps Clay with the wet succulent apples feeding him and quickly throwing the remains over her shoulder Clay need never finish a piece of her fruit She allows him to try many each time giving him comfort by joining in The reference to Adam and Eve is barely left to the imagination When Lula uses racist colloquialisms she challenges the possibilities of whites and blacks ever becoming equals of ever being
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