In The Blood Essay

712 words - 3 pages

In the Blood and Greek Tragedy
In the Blood (1999), by playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, tells the sad tale of protagonist
Hester La Negrita, a homeless, black single mother to five fatherless children. At its core, the play is a powerful allegorical treatise, social commentary and criticism of America’s welfare system and its treatment of the poor. It exposes the double standards, brutality, prejudice, and sexual persecution of those whom are branded morally bereft and, therefore, most vulnerable to victimization and subjugation.
Although Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter informs the plays leitmotif,
In the Blood’s roots are firmly planted in Aristotelian tenets. Hester La ...view middle of the document...

Her hamartia is that her life is not living at all, but merely existing. Reverend father to her son Jabber, whom he refuses to acknowledge. He is ashamed of his relationship with Hester, but that doesn’t prevent him from exploiting her sexually. The Welfare Lady represents the social welfare system that has failed Hester and she, too, manipulates Hester into participating in sexual liaisons with she and her husband. The Welfare Lady acts imperiously towards Hester and treats her with contempt and blame: “We at Welfare are at the end of our rope with you. We put you in a job and you quit. We put you in a shelter and you walk. We put you in a school and you drop out. Yr children are also truant. Word is they steal. Stealing is a gateway crime, Hester. Perhaps your young daughter is pregnant. Who knows. We build bridges you burn them. We sew safety nets, rub harder, good strong safety nets and you slip through the weave”. The Doctor, whose medical practice is carried on his back and performed on the...

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