Michelle Study Guide-3 - Exam 1 Study Guide Fires in the...

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: Fires in the Mirror : Plot: interviews with the people and their takes on the incident and race and identity in general. The plot is related to the story in that is recalling the Crown Heights crisis. 26 interviewed subjects with varying degree of closeness to the incident arranged to spiral closer and closer to those touched directly by the violence. Story: Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Car carrying a Hasidic Jew goes through a red light and swerves to avoid a crowd in the street and hits a Caribbean American boy (Cato) who is learning how to ride a bike. Privately funded Jewish ambulance came first and supposedly would not take Cato to the hospital even though he was in a worse condition than the Hasidic Jew. Some say that the Hasidic Jew was drunk, some say he was actually injured. Some say that he actually tended to Cato but that Cato didn’t want help. Riots broke out. Yankel Rosenbaum Australian Jewish student was an innocent bystander and he was approached on the street and killed but they could not pinpoint who killed him because it was a group of Caribbean Americans. Failed prosecutions, man convicted ended up being released because of failed prosecutions. Structure of play: 7 main “chapters” (verses)—identity, mirrors, hair, race, rhythm, seven versus, and Crown Heights, Brooklyn. First half of play--general monologues not directly related to Crown Heights. Second half of play— monologues are more specific and personal accounts become more vivid (narrower and more focused). Moves from abstract reflections to specific expressions of personal loss. Ended with Carmel Cato Language of play: text was a compilation of interviews. Speech, syntax, emphasis (vocal choices—pauses), physical appearance, gesture (physical choices) Setting of the play: Crown Heights, Brooklyn (various settings—different places for every interview) Significant props: costume (wigs, etc.) Actions of central characters: NO CENTRAL CHARACTERS Major ideas: Mirrors—monologue of mirrors talks about distortion of physics and how mirrors distort. Circle of confusion suggests organizing principle of the play. If the lens is perfect, things in the middle will be muddy. The larger the lens, the larger the circle of confusion, and the easier it is to find errors. Errors of construction in certain identity groups (how Jews viewed Caribbean Americans and vice versa). The more open you are to someone and the more you have contact with them, the more likely you are to see the errors in the construction of the stereotypes you have about them. Identity—journey of discovery. Travel from self to other is similar to Davis’ metaphor of the rope, which permits us to travel from our own identities to an imaginative world. Still be anchored within your community and see the views within your community, but you should be able to see the viewpoints of other communities. Anna Deveare Smith, 1992
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Michelle Study Guide-3 - Exam 1 Study Guide Fires in the...

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