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Dream on Monkey Mountain


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A: Derek Walcott Pf: 1967, Toronto Pb: 1970 G: Drama in 2 acts; prose, verse, and songs, with some English and French patois S: Jail on St Lucia, 1960s C: 8m, 2f, extras, chorus, and drummersMakak, a black charcoal-burner, has been imprisoned for his own safety, after getting drunk and smashing things in the local market. In jail he has a vision of a white Goddess, who urges him to return to Africa. Unhappy about the way the mulatto warder Corporal Lestrade approves of ‘white man's law’, Makak despises himself for being black and longs to lead his people back to Africa, where, in his dreams, he will become a fearless warrior. Even Lestrade will join his exodus, while various hangers-on pretend to lend Makak his support while trying to undermine and rob him. Amazingly, he receives a floral tribute from the Ku Klux Klan. Finally, he beheads the white apparition. Waking from his drunken dream, he finds he has overcome his obsession with whiteness and calls himself by his real name, Felix Hobain. Reconciled to life on his Caribbean Island, Makak resolves to return to his home on Monkey Mountain and looks forward to a new life.

A: Derek Walcott Pf: 1967, Toronto Pb: 1970 G: Drama in 2 acts; prose, verse, and songs, with some English and French patois S: Jail on St Lucia, 1960s C: 8m, 2f, extras, chorus, and drummers

Walcott is the leading Caribbean dramatist, and this is his best-known play. In it the playwright, himself of mixed race, urges his fellow countrymen neither to imitate the whites nor to get trapped in dreams of returning to Africa. Instead, he encourages his audience to embrace the multiracial, multicultural character of Caribbean society and celebrate its richness, which is reflected in the mixture of languages and theatrical styles, including song and dance.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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Authors

Derek Walcott (b. 1930)


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