Zoot Suit Analysis

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In his introduction to Luis Valdez' Zoot Suit, theatre historian Jorge Huerta calls the play a "type of broad, farcical and presentational political theater" (Huerta, 8) alluding to the overt call to action in the storyline and themes of injustice and racial tensions in the play. Quiara Alegría Hudes' Water by the Spoonful is similarly political, dealing with issues of addiction and war, albeit in a more naturalistic, less theatrical manner. Both plays, however, use mythic characters to further their thematic agendas. These characters exist outside of the world of the play, interacting only with the audience and the protagonist, which allows them to exist as symbols rather than people. This disassociation provides a framework for the…show more content…
They are in reverence to him. He has all the power. Compare this entrance to that of the Ghost. This character does not appear until three scenes into the play. This story is not about him. He does not even begin the scene, Elliot does. Both he and Yaz speak before we even see the Ghost and Yaz's monologue is significant in length and importance, further diminishing the prominence of the Ghost. The stage directions read: "In the subway shop, a figure comes into view. It is the Ghost." (Hudes, 15). The Ghost is not even offered an entrance, he appears out of nowhere. This makes the Ghost a passive viewer of the story, and an intruder, rather than an active participant pushing the story along. Later in the scene, there is no stage direction for the Ghost to leave, instead, he's forgotten. Unlike El Pachuco, there is no music or fanfare in the Ghost’ entrance and the character immediately says his line. This speed shows his desperation. While El Pachuco was in control and could take his time, the Ghost has no such power. Elliot ignores the Ghost, further diminishing the character’s power. Everyone wanted to hear what El Pachuco had to say, no one can see or hear the Ghost. The story continues on without his interference. The OED defines power as “the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events” (OED). If one is being ignored, one is powerless. This idea of overlooking the
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