Analysis Of The Play ' Straight White Men '

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On January 23, a couple of classmates and I went to see Young Jean Lee’s “Straight White Men,” a play examining the values and privileges of being a straight white male. The play is set in a house on Christmas Eve. Although we originally chose this performance because it fitted best with our schedules, I was interested to see what message the Asian playwright wanted to convey to her audience through the interactions of a white family. As a student at the University of Michigan, I interact with students of many different races on a daily basis, so I felt that the play could inform me of the misconceptions that people have about race. After watching the performance, I was impressed by the presentation of subjects such as the white privilege and the attitude of white people towards race. Overall, I felt that the play was thought-provoking and surprisingly captivating with its simple concept and straightforward plot. One of the first surprising moments of the play was when two of the brothers pulled out the board game called “Privilege,” which is really a version of the board game Monopoly designed by their mother to remind them of the privileges they have for being straight white men. It was interesting to see that the concept of white people having more privileges than people of other races could be presented in a mild and inoffensive form. At the same time, it was unnerving as to how appropriate the elements of the game, such as the “denial card” and “domestic labor bonus”
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