Essay Florence by Alice Childress

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Florence by Alice Childress

This 1950 play by Alice Childress takes place in a train station waiting room in a very small town in the south. The play describes how
Miss Whitney, an old black woman, discovers that her premonition of the success of her daughter, Florence, as a black actress is undesirably similar to that of a racist, white society. This troubling discovery has just as strong an impact on the reader as it does on
Miss Whitney. This drama teaches the reader how the views and opinions of individuals or groups can influence other individuals or groups to approach situations with the same reaction, although their views and opinions may be opposite.

Marge, Miss Whitney's other daughter, first introduces this frame
…show more content…
This one time."
(Childress. 1320)

As Marge leaves the station we are introduced to Mr. Brown, an old black porter. As Mr. Brown speaks with Miss Whitney we find out that his son and brother are both attending different colleges. Miss
Whitney expresses her thoughts by saying, "takes an awful lot of goin' to school to be anything." (Childress.1322) Mr. Brown also informs
Miss Whitney that his brother saw Florence in a movie. This excites
Miss Whitney only for a second as she proceeds to ask Mr. Brown about his brother's aspirations, as if it were more interesting. The conversation is short due to the entrance of Mrs. Carter.

Mrs. Carter is introduced in the play as a "white woman…well dressed, wearing furs and carrying a small, expensive overnight bag."
(Childress. 1322) Mrs. Carter is on her way back home to New York
City. Although she thinks of herself as being beyond the racist state of the south, we are immediately exposed to her racist mentality as she speaks her first word, "Boy," (Childress. 1322) referring to the porter, a fifty year-old black man. As she paces back and forth in the white side of the room, Mrs. Carter begins a conversation with Miss
Whitney. During the conversation we learn about Mrs. Carter's brother,
Jeff, a writer, who recently received bad reviews on his last book.
Mrs. Carter explains that the story is about a

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