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StanleyJiang

ResponsePaper4
TheshiftintimesbetweenActIandActIIofClybourneParkshowhowsocietyhas
changedgreatlywithinthepastsixtyyears.Therearestarkdifferencesbetweenthestylesof
conversationbetweenindividuals,thewaydiscriminationishandled,andtheoverallsetting.The
playveryaccuratelyportrayscontemporarysocietyintheU.S.Thereisthisairoffamiliarity
whilereadingthroughthescriptbecauseofthewaythecharactersspeakthatmakestheplayso
relatable.Inregardstodealingwithissuessuchasrace,peoplewereandstillremainunwillingto
speakaboutsuchissuesdirectlyandoftendancedaroundthesubjectwhileconversingaboutit.
However,thedifferenceliesinthewayracismisportrayedinsocietythatchangesthewayitis
talkedaboutinthepasthalfcentury.ClybourneParkdoesanexcellentjobinaccurately
portrayingtheproblemsofsocietytodayincontrasttothatofafewdecadesprior.
Definingcharacteristicsofthemillennialgenerationaretheirselfishnessandlackof
attentionspan.BruceNorrispurposelywritesinthismannertohighlightthesewidelyignored
issues.WhilereadingthroughActII,itwasmaddeningtotryandlookforapointtothese
peoplesconversation.Justwhenapointseemstocomeup,itiscoveredupbyadistractionof
somesorts,whichissimilartothewaymanypeopleconversenowadays.Whiletryingtogain
progressintheirmeeting,Tomfinallyasks,Meanwhilemaybeweshouldlookatpagethree?
(117).Thisisfollowedbyamyriadofresponsesagreeingtotheprospect,butthemomentthe
pageandbulletpointtobereviewedwasestablished,onemember,Steve,abruptlycomments,
Rabatbytheway(118).Thislackoffocuspeoplehaveissadlyawidespreadcharacteristic.
Thisinterruptionisalsoincrediblyrude,asanothercharactermentionedthatheispressedfor
time,hintingatthefactthattheconversationshouldcontinuetomoveforwardandbe
productive.However,everyoneeruptsinapointlessconversationaboutthecapitalofMorocco,

highlightinganothernuisanceinsociety.Peoplealwaysseemtobeincompetitionwithone
anotherregardingwhichpersonhasabetterlife.Bymentioningthedifferentcountriesonehas
gonetoorbydiscussingknowledgeofthemisanattempttofoolotherpeopleinhowworldly
andculturedapersonis.
InterracialrelationsstillremainsasoneofthegreatestissuesinAmericansociety,butthe
waypeoplethinkaboutthemhavechanged.Previously,peoplelikeKarlLindlerwouldnot
directlyspeakabouthisdisdaintowardsblacks.Similarly,peoplenowadayswouldnotspeak
directlyaboutracialdifferencesandissues.Karlcasuallysays,Ithinkthatyoudagree,Im
assuming,thatintheworld,thereexistcertaindifferences.Agreed?(66).Thisjustificationof
racismwouldnotbetoleratedintodayssociety.Mr.Lindlerlivedinaperiodwhenracismwas
stillrampant,soitisnotstrangetofindmanypeoplewhofollowthesebeliefs.Peoplewouldnot
converseabouttheirdislikeforblackpeople;theirinferioritywasalreadyassumed.Fastforward
to2009,Lenasays,Andifthatareaisoccupiedbyaparticulargroup?(177).Theunderlying
dislikeforblackshavedissipatedforthemostpartinsociety,butithasnowbecometabooto
evenmentionraceissues,partlybecausepeopleweresonegativeaboutitinthepastthatithas
leftmanyAmericansfeelingshamefortheiracts.Whenmentioningtheseissues,peoplefearfor
beingcalledaracist,evenwhennottryingtomakeracistcommentsorassumptions.Inaddition,
theselfishnessfactorcomesintoplaywhenactuallydealingwithraceissues.Lindsey
emphasizes,halfofmyfriendsareblack!(183).Suddenly,theconversationshiftsto
quantifyingtheratiooffriendsonehasincompetitiontosoundlessracist,andtherefore,the
betterperson.Racedoesnotdisappearasanissueoverall,butastimegoeson,theissue
changesandshiftstocreatenewones.

BruceNorriswroteanexcellentresponsetoARaisinintheSunthathighlightedthe
problemsofcontemporaryU.S.society.Imagesofthepastwillalwaysremain,although
distortedorchanged.
Citations
Norris,Bruce.ClybournePark:APlay.NewYork:FarberandFarber,2009.