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A Revolution as a Fable: a Case of Baraka’s The Slave

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2013, 26(3), pp.89-111
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Paek,Hwankie 1

1순천향대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

For Baraka, a political activist, drama is the means of achieving the unity of political action and literary art, which has always been crucial to him. The Slave is a fable which deals with an imaginary revolution war through which Baraka is willing to give a lesson to his black people. The revolution is less important as a literal meaning than it is significant as an allegorical background for the conflicts within Walker. The physical violence and the emotional confrontation in the play are actually a projection of Walker’s subjective experience as a split personality. The importance of exploiting a revolution as a plot and a dramatic form was twofold for Baraka; his plays threatened the white oppressor while entering into the discovery of his identity. Characters in the play are the archetype of some ideologies. Walker, a commander of the revolutionary army, is the representative of Black Nationalism or the Black Arts Movement while Grace and Easley are typical of assimilation and liberalism respectively. On any account Baraka thinks that liberalism and assimilation to the American culture are vices to black people who try to establish their own identity. Baraka insists that through crushing all American cultural matrix the black people will emancipate themselves from them, and obtain a true identity.

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