Identity and staging of stereotypes in the blacks of Jean Genet
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In the play The Blacks by French dramatist Jean Genet we are faced, in both a complex and controversial manner, with the issues of cultural and racial identity, ideological dominion, colonialism and the process of decolonization as seen from the perspective of "the blackness" issue against the backdrop of colonialism. The play revolves around the problem of identity of being black as one built by the white man. This conflict is staged by overtly showing and exaggerating theatrical artifices. Thus, in this paper we shall discuss how such a conflict is brought onto the stage by heightening theatrical resources, as well as the theme of a play within the play. This theme shows characters bearing an ill-defined identity, revealing them as actors playing a role (which perfectly mirrors the reality of black people who are constantly performing the roles assigned to them by the white man) and leaving fertile ground for rebellion and deliverance from their own subjectivities, which can be found lying behind the various levels of the performance.
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