What impact does Horovitz make through his play The Indian Wants the Bronx?

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The main impact that Horovitz makes with his play The Indian Wants the Bronx is to spread awareness and also to encourage self-reflection and awareness of how one's actions and understanding, or misunderstanding, of others can cause problems. Arguably, the play is mostly about communication, and how miscommunication and misunderstanding is the root of most problems between people. Horovitz himself says that the play is about communication, and he tries to show that through the clumsy attempts at conversation that the boys share with Gupta, the Indian man who they harass on the street. This inability to communicate with Gupta eventually leads the boys to become frustrated. This frustration builds to a tragic conclusion, an act of violence committed against the Indian man, who was just attempting to visit his son.

At first, it appears that the boys' attempts at making conversation and interacting with Gupta are relatively tame. They make wisecracks but they are not ultimately cruel until they start to judge one another. It becomes clear that they have been raised in a very misogynistic, racist environment after they call each other "rotten jap" and "turkie-humper" in an attempt to one-up and pigeonhole the other person. It is this need for competition that betrays their internal strife and frustration at their own shortcomings.

In fact, this play speaks to a time when these masculine ideals and racist beliefs were not only prevalent, but expected. The boys only know how to communicate with one another in this way, and because the "Turk," as they call him, does not, they see him as the "other"—someone separate from themselves. The "other" for them is someone whom it is okay to take their anger out upon, or to lash out at with all of their internal frustration and pent-up emotion. The play exposes racism and sexism, potentially confronting audience members with their own shortcomings and forcing them to consider the impact they have on the world around them. It is especially powerful in that it allows its audience to see the situation unfolding objectively, from both the point of view of the boys and that of Gupta.

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