The Dutchman, the protagonist is Clay and the antagonist is Lula. In The Slave, the protagonist is Walker and the antagonists are Grace and Easley (to an extent).
Dutchman: Will Lula break Clay down through her seduction and manipulation, and if so, what will she do to him?
The Slave: Will Walker force Easley and Grace to acknowledge him, and will he kill them?
Dutchman: Clay lashes out in anger at Lula, telling her he could kill her. He decides not to; she stabs and kills him instead.
The Slave: Easley attacks Walker to try to get the gun, but Walker shoots him.
Dutchman: The apple that Lula gives Clay foreshadows his eventual "fall"
The Slave: N/A.
1. Baudelaire, the famous French poet
2. Averell Harriman, a white American politician and diplomat
3. "Juliet's tomb": Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
4. You must be Jewish. All you can think about is wire" (29): the Holocaust's concentration camps
5. Snow White, the Disney cartoon/fairy tale
6. Uncle Tom, the character from Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
7. Bessie Smith, a famous black blues singer
8. Charlie Parker, a famous black saxophonist
1. Yeats, or William Butler Yeats, the famous Irish poet
2. Carl Sandburg, modernist poet
3. Bigger Thomas, the main character of Richard Wright's "Native Son"
4. Othello, Desdemona, and Iago: all characters in Shakespeare's "Othello"
See separate "Imagery" section of this ClassicNote.
Critic Linda Zatlin states, "Walker alternatively identifies himself with and desperately tries to extricate himself from everything white, including those parts of himself he perceives as permanently tainted by white values."
Dutchman: The young man at the end of the play parallels Clay at the beginning, and it is suggested that his fate will be the same as Clay's.
The Slave: Walker is supposed to parallel the slave at the beginning because he is not free.
Dutchman: "a loud scream of the actual train" (4).
The Slave: N/A.
Use of Dramatic Devices
1. Clay's soliloquy at the end of the play is an expression of the deep-seated pain that lies within him that he doesn't allow to come out in his day to day life, for fear of him killing someone.
2. The people on the subway are a sort of cruel, silent chorus.
1. Easley's death is an instance of poetic justice.
2. The situation with the children evokes pathos.
Both plays have: props, scenes, scenery, rising action, staging, and unity of time/place/action (all within 24 hours).
Dutchman and The Slave Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Dutchman and The Slave is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Dutchman and The Slave are two plays by Imamu Amiri Baraka (pseudonym LeRoi Jones). The Dutchman and The Slave study guide contains a biography of LeRoi Jones, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis of the two plays.
Dutchman and The Slave are two plays by Imamu Amiri Baraka (pseudonym LeRoi Jones). These literature essays are academic essays for citation. The papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of the plays Dutchman and The Slave.