Big White Fog

Big White Fog - represented by the continual conflict of...

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Kevin Albano February 26, 2008 Big White Fog Reaction Of all of the plays that I have read in the African American Theater & Film course, I think I reacted the strongest to Ward’s. The feature of the play that made it different from all of the other plays we have read was its richness in depth and portrayal of characters. There are so many layers in the play that it is impossible not to find something new and deeper upon rereading it. On the surface, there is the issue of capitalism versus socialism, but there are also twinges of color-differentiation within the African American race, and the role of the black female caught between two conflicting belief systems. Theodore Ward’s revolutionary Big White Fog effectively explored prominent issues by humanization: showing duality and depth in his characters. Obviously there was the question of separatism between the black and white races and whether or not is acceptable to profit off ones’ own disenfranchised people,
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Unformatted text preview: represented by the continual conflict of ideology between Vic and Dan. The leader of the family Victor, passionately backs Marcus Garvey's separatist Back To Africa movement. On the other hand, his brother-in-law, Dan believes in "the process of individual achievement". Through the depth of Ward’s characterization, the reader sees them as humans battling with complex, contradictory situations. Each character is three-dimensional: there are no heroes or villains. At one moment in the play a character may seem heroic, but then later they can be weak and vulnerable. So just as Victor is betrayed by Garvey's conviction for fraud, so the property-owning Dan is ruined by the Depression. The first time we see a character cast in a universally acceptable light is when Ward’s opinion shows through Les, proposes alliance between blacks and whites....
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