Scene 2 of Dutchman

In Scene 2 of Dutchman, Clay embarks on a rage-filled monologue against Lula and the idea that she understands anything about African American experience. What are some lines from his monologue that struck you as especially pertinent to what’s happening today?

 

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1. Your response should be at least 250 words

2. and you must respond to other person’s post with at least 250 words. (below is other person’s post)

 

 

Other person’s postClay’s monologue in Scene 2 of Dutchman was full of important lines about his experience as an African American existing in the time period that the play was written in, but many of his words are still applicable today. It is unfortunate that now, 60 or so years later, Clay’s words are still relevant. One line in particular that struck me was, “If I’m a middle-class fake white man … let me be. And let me be in the way I want… Let me be who I feel like being. Uncle Tom. Thomas. Whoever. It’s none of your business.” I found this quote to be really relevant and important today too, because it discusses the way that many attempt to stereotype African American people, put them in a box, and then act like they understand who they are and what their experience is. The truth is, it is not up to anyone but the person themselves to choose how they identify or who they are. To force stereotypes and labels onto someone is an act of violence and one that Clay is responding to angrily in his monologue. His argument is that Lula must simply let him be who he is, whoever he wants to be. More importantly, who he is and who he identifies as is none of her business. Another line of Clay’s that struck me was, “I mean if I murdered you, then other white people would begin to understand me. You understand? No I guess not. If Bessie Smith had killed some white people she wouldn’t have needed that music. She could have talked very straight and plain about the world. No metaphors. No grunts. No wiggles in the dark of her soul.” This quote reminded me about Malcolm X’s speech, The Ballot or the Bullet. When people face so much unwavering oppression, they don’t have many choices. The choice of violence, or the “Bullet,” in response to violence is one of them. Clay’s argument is that violence would truly get the point across to white people, in a way that “metaphors” and “wiggles in the dark of her soul” hadn’t.

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