Arrangement In Black And WhiteThis print version free essay Arrangement In Black And White.
Autor: reviewessays 01 December 2010
Words: 670 | Pages: 3
Dorothy Parkerâ€™s â€œArrangement in Black and Whiteâ€ is set during a dinner party for the hostâ€™s friend, Walter Williams, an African American musician. Though the party is celebrated in his name, most of the conversation takes place between the host and the main character, the woman with pink velvet poppies. From the conversation, the audience can deduce that though this woman admires Walter Williamsâ€™s musical talent, she is unable to let go of the racist sentiment against his African American heritage. The author adds a flavor of sophisticated cynicism as she makes this point clear by having the main characters ironically make frequent references concerning how â€œuntroubledâ€ she is about the color of his skin. This argument is further emphasized when she greets Walter Williams; her body language and topic choice gives her predicament away. Through this story Parker implies that with the end of slavery did not entail the changing of the heartâ€™s and mindâ€™s of its supporters, no matter how much one can deny it to oneself.
Dorothy Parker sets up her main character be in conflict with all her possessed qualities. For example, although her age is never stated, she seems young judging by her energetic and outspoken qualities, but old enough to be married and have set opinions toward other races. Also, though she comes across as a woman with a forward natureâ€”shown as she grabs the hostâ€™s arm to get her attentionâ€”she also is seen as a nervous character, becoming hesitant when touching on the topic that she has conflicting attitudes towardsâ€”racism. Through her description of the Afircan American peopleâ€”â€œnigger mammyâ€ and â€œthingsâ€â€”followed by her supposed sour viewpoint on narrow-minded people, she comes across as an uneducated and extremely conflicted individual. The central characterâ€™s personality is important to the storyâ€™s central idea as it is the dominant element that exemplifies the type of people that the central idea encompasses. It is people like the woman with the pink velvet poppies that keeps ideas including racism alive.
There are two conflicts that coexist in this short story. On a minor scale, the conflict lies between the main character and her inability to accept her true stance towards the issue of racism. This is quickly identified through her obsession with insuring the host of how accepting she is of the African America race, when in reality her comments say otherwise. Looking at the big picture, such a problem doesnâ€™t only exist in the mind of the lady with the pink velvet poppies, but in many of societyâ€™s members. After the eradication of the institution of slavery, many of its former followers still rejected the African American people and their new place in the American society. The real tragedy lies in the narrow-minded views that still exist today in the minds of many individuals. In this way, the lady with the pink velvet poppies is simply a caricature of people that share her similar views; making the storyâ€™s conflict one that the humans of the 21st century continue to battle.
Dorothy parker uses a dramatic narrative voice to present her â€œArrangement in Black and White.â€ She uses an objective point of view as it creates a sense of realism; matching the realistic problem that her story exposes. This particular point of view also disallows her to comment on the issue the story encompasses. Parker uses her lack of authorial comment as a strength as she allows her readers to identify and interpret the main characterâ€™s actions alone. As a result, the message of the story is magnified by the fact that the audience identifies the storyâ€™s conflict, ensuring the discovery that such a problem sadly continues to exist. The result of this particular point of viewâ€™s binding request of the readers to construe the storyâ€™s central idea alone is the creation of more work on the readerâ€™s behalf; its outcome becomes the readers increased involvement with the piece of literature