Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

What elements of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter (1850) does Suzan-Lori Parks incorporate in her drama In the Blood?

Elaborate on the “truth” (or lack thereof) of Parks’s statement that white artists create art while black artists make statements.

What are the differences between what Parks calls “figures” and more traditional dramatists call “characters”?

Compare Parks’s novel Getting Mother’s Body to William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying (1930).

Who was Saartjie Baartman and how did Parks use or abuse her real-life story in her play Venus?

Explain Parks’s fascination with Abraham Lincoln.