SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides for challenging works of literature. Featured content includes commentary on major characters, 25 important quotes, essay topics, and key themes like Cultural and Social Change and Race and Hierarchy. The Century Cycle is a series of ten plays, each exploring the black experience in the United States during a different decade of the 20th century. Wilson won countless awards for his Century Cycle plays, including two Pulitzer Prizes:
Classism is reflected in the play where the people on the top feel they are naturally superior to those on the bottom, especially displayed through the set-up of the recording studio. Irvin and Sturdyvant are at the top of the economic scale and are characterized as the leaders of those below them.
They feel that because they are of the higher social class, they automatically fit the position of power.
Although the separation of classes is evident in the play, Ma Rainey makes it clear that she will not succumb to the white man. Instead, there is a power struggle between Ma Rainey and Irvin, where she tries to show that she is worthy of respect.
Irvin and Sturdyvant remain at the top of the studio with feelings of superiority to those below them. Those on the top feel that they are better than those on the bottom because they hold the position of leadership and power.
Sturdyvant has no direct relation with the band members in the studio. On the other hand, Irvin remains to be the direct link between those at the top and bottom of the studio.
While Cutler is asking him about what version of the song to play, Irvin constantly cuts him off. Not allowing Cutler to finish his sentences shows the amount of disrespect he holds for him.
Irvin feels he knows how to deal with the band members because they are viewed as inferior and should hold a certain level of respect for him.
He acts as if he is more intelligent than the band members and knows what kind of music the public will like. As far as the band members are concerned, nothing is open for discussion. The band members are expected to follow the rules and remain on the bottom of the scale.
Cutler, Toledo, Slow Drag, and Levee all remain in the band room which is in the basement of the building. This basement represents the bottom of the class scale.
Their value as human beings is not as meaningful as those on the top. Toledo knows that if blacks continue to remain at the bottom of the social and economic scale, they will never rise.
Wilson 37 With Irvin and Sturdyvant being at the top, the band members currently look up to them for approval. This promotes whites as holding all power as leaders while forcing blacks to the bottom of the scale. Just as the band room was moved from upstairs to downstairs, the members of the band are also continuously pushed to the bottom.
Sturdyvant and Irvin want to remain at the top of the studio so they can supervise what goes on below them and make sure that no one oversteps their boundaries. However, Ma Rainey constantly oversteps the boundaries placed before her on the social scale.
Although Ma Rainey is at the bottom of the class scale, she does not allow those at the top to hold her down.Read this English Essay and over 88, other research documents. Classism in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
As Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom indicates, an issue such as classism is /5(1). As Ma Rainey's Black Bottom indicates, an issue such as classism is not merely an ideology, but a way that differentiates the classes on a social and economic scale.
An introduction to Ma Rainey's Black Bottom by August Wilson. Learn about the book and the historical context in which it was written.
As Ma Rainey's Black Bottom indicates, an issue such as classism is not merely an ideology, but a way that differentiates the classes on a social and economic scale. Essays and criticism on August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom - Critical Essays.
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