West Side Story : The Racist Representation Essay

1651 Words Apr 9th, 2015 null Page
West Side Story: the Racist Representation West Side Story, written by Arthur Laurents and produced by Jerome Robbins, constructs racialized identities for its Puerto Rican characters. Their constructed, stereotypical identities are not accurate or realistic. However, the film has been very popular, among the mainstream audience – the white Americans – and among the Puerto Rican spectators. I believe that the so-critiqued racist elements against Puerto Ricans in the film is lightened up the mood by the virtuosity – the beautiful music and the iconic, beloved, tragic, superimposed love story Romeo and Juliet – as well as further highlights the problem. It can also be seen as representations and reflections of discrimination in modern day, which draw attention to the matter itself directly towards the mainstream audience. Such racist elements also resonate with the Puerto Ricans’ experience at the time. The Puerto Rican spectators are therefore able to identify with the characters despite of the racialized appearance for the characters. Therefore, I argue that West Side Story “hails” both Puerto Rican spectators and mainstream spectators. It hails the Puerto Ricans for that the experience of discrimination resonates the experience as immigrants; and it attracts the mainstream audience with the love story and music, while the racist comment also addresses the attention to discrimination itself today.
The film creates racist comments directly and indirectly. The direct…

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