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Blood “sweat” and Tears

Essay by   •  December 16, 2018  •  Book/Movie Report  •  672 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,099 Views

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Blood “Sweat” and Tears

Something equally striking to Donald Trump’s victory over the working-class voters with a promise to build a wall, is Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer-prize winning play "Sweat" and its ability in breaking the theater's fourth wall, as what is happening in homes all across Reading, Pennsylvania. As I watched the Sweat from SF ACT theater, I felt as though I was the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come as the play opens in 2008, with two men of different color reinstating themselves back into society after long prison sentences. The play flashes back to 2000 when Jason and Chris are working alongside with their mothers at the local factory. Overtime, the factory starts downsizing and hiring non-union workers. As the saying goes,” Another man’s trash, is another man’s treasure.” The people of the once powerful union who protected their interests are shaken to the core by the truth that there is always someone who is willing to work a dollar less per hour. don’t like what we usually know is coming, the effects of unemployment, racism creates greater tensions explode faster. Nottage crafted this play with themes that lends a voice to every American that is being silenced by status, racism, and loyalty.

One of the majors plots in this play is Cynthia’s promotion to manager that shows the economic effect and social effect of status. As Cynthia was once part of the working class with her friends, her status looms and overpowers their friendship. As the theme of “status” is expressed through Cynthia’s move up the corporate ladder, the concept of status through education is specifically addressed through Chris. Cynthia hopes that her son Chris would go further that Olstead’s plant and pursue and education. Chris receiving a bachelor’s degree significantly affects his place in the world. Jason’s innermost fear peeks through in the third scene when he states, “What the floor, it ain’t good enough for you?!” Cynthia’s status results in a loss of friendship and social exclusion from her once peers.

“Sweat” not only diversifies that cast of characters as the play does a good job in showing that it is not only men that are steelworkers, it also addresses both personal and systemic racism. The first moment of racism what when Jason was in Evan’s office with his face strewn with a white supremacist tattoo. Tracey who is also known for being Cynthia's good friend before Cynthia’s promotion, was spreading rumors that it was because of Cynthia’s race that



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