West Side Story And The Music Man

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The Film "West Side Story" illustrates how the Puerto Ricans of New York faced discrimination and were used as scapegoats by the American people during the cold war time period to escape their anxieties. Due to the fear of communism and possible nuclear war the 1950-1960s time period was a very fragile time for the American people which produced an air of xenophobia throughout the country. The air of xenophobia is present throughout the play due of the repeated mention of stereotypes about Puerto Ricans and the constant feeling that the Puerto Ricans do not belong. The people of American often dealt with these anxieties in one of two ways, through escapism or through and through the scapegoating. This is made very clear through the comparison of West Side Story to the play The Music Man in the document “West Side Story and The Music Man: Whiteness, Immigration, and Race in the US during the late 1950s”. Like many waves of immigrants, the Puerto Ricans faced discrimination when they arrived and for some time after. This came in the form of people being discriminatory directly to them, housing discrimination and job discrimination. Therefore, the play “West Side Story” expresses the discrimination that Puerto Ricans faced due to the xenophobic nature of the time period.
The play “West Side Story” presents itself as a story of two gangs who are in the midst turf fueled feud. This feud between the sharks and the jets runs deeper than turf, the feud is truly about how Americans
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