Father Comes Home From The Wars, Suzan Lori Parks Essay

1918 Words Nov 2nd, 2016 8 Pages
Father Comes Home from the Wars, Suzan-Lori Parks
Suzan-Lori Parks created a character that had the illusion of choice. She showed how Hero’s perception of having control of his destiny undid his relationships. The costumes of this production propelled this show into modern day and made commentary on how systemic racism may still be inhibiting the freedoms of African Americans. This play forces the audience to reconcile with the past sins, and then points out the ways society still discriminates against people of color. Many times throughout the show the protagonist, Hero is faced with pseudo-choice, or decisions where he could in theory deviate from the path he has chosen for himself but all of those choices lead to disastrous consequences. For example, at the start of the show Hero has the “choice” of accompanying his master into war, and fighting alongside the Confederate army. While he considers both options, and in fact originally choices to stay home it becomes clear when Hero realizes he must chop off his foot, and subject himself and his friends/family to the wrath of the master that there is only one viable option. His autonomy in making a decision is as illusive as the freedom promised to him. While some may argue he always had the option to escape, I would argue that the system he has lived in his entire life has taken that option away from him. When his friend was caught Hero was the swing the ax and cut off his foot. This fear of breaking his master’s wishes…

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