Zoot Suit Essay example

1173 Words Jan 7th, 2013 5 Pages
Zoot Suit

Based on the notorious 1942 “Sleepy Lagoon” murder mystery, which resulted in the “Zoot Suit Riots” in Los Angeles, California, playwright Luis Valdez combines fact and fiction in the play “Zoot Suit” to portray the fate of 12 young Mexican Americans that were brought to trial for a murder they did not commit. Valdez created the play; “Zoot Suit” that brought a strong symbolic significance for Mexican Americans and expresses about the riots during World War II. The play, “Zoot Suit” represents the culmination of a Chicano theater movement that integrated four theatrical forms, which are actos, mitos, corridos, and historias that designed “heighten reality” through “highly stylized” presentational methods that came from the
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In lecture, Kinan Valdez shared to the class that Mitos “(Myths and Mytos or ‘Life through the eyes of the creator’)” is as content and deals with ritual dances, drama and pageantry (Lecture 04/18). In addition, Mitos attempts to make invisible visible, this brings the famous Pachuco who is with Henry Reyna at all times. The Pachuco was a great example of this technique because he only becomes visible in the ending of the play and he is in longer by Henry’s side. However, we see the Pachuco by Henry as if the Pachuco was his consciousness. He always made Henry think twice of his actions and decisions. This was seen through Valdez’s eyes that the Pachuco was a major influence not only for Henry but also for the play itself. Moreover, there was drama within the play, for instance when Henry encountered the Downey gang at the lagoon stirred up the play by bringing action, intensity and excitement to the audience.
Furthermore, the third technique that was used from the Chicano theater movement to the “Zoot Suit” play was Corrido. Corrido is defined as a “narrative ballad”
It tells of news events and stories that are passed along through oral tradition. (Kinan Valdez, 04/18), In other words, Valdez used theatrical music to share Henry Reyna’s story. However, not only the main characters story but overall the ethnic minorities in
America. With the theatrical music it gave the audience a sense of a closer connection…

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