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Psychoanalytical Perspective of Color Struck

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Psychoanalysis is a mental assumption that focuses on the behavior and judgment of humans. The theory states that a person’s behavior and way of thinking are largely determined by illogical drives that are basically not aware of. Thus psychoanalysis tries to bring those drives into consciousness and meets resistance in various forms. The development a person’s mentality is either determined by events in early childhood, or it can simply be genetic. Variance between unconscious matters and conscious outlook of reality can cause psychological turmoil such as obsession, phobic qualities, worry and depression. When a person is made aware of the issues unknown to them that affect their mentality, they can then be free from such effects.

Color Struck is a play in four scenes written by Zora Hurston. The play heading centers on colorism, the main theme of the play, being the notion that individuals in the black society were evaluated based on the skin color. Emma, a major character is depicted as a Black woman who is color passionate and exceedingly paranoid. She is persistently scared that John, a man intensely in love with her, will abandon her for a fair-skinned woman, and is excessively envious. Emma’s insecurity pushes her to tell John, "I love you so hard, John, and jealous love are the only kind I got".

At the dance lobby, everybody takes lunch, and Effie, the woman who Emma is envious of, gives John a snack. John is aware that it will offend Emma, but he goes ahead and accepts it. Consequently, Emma declines to take the cakewalk dance with him, although they are privileged to come first the contest. John alternatively dances with Effie, and they emerge the best. In the entire play Emma is excessively and self-critically preoccupied with her dark complexion. She is overwhelmed by intra-ethnic discrimination, which makes her envious of fair-skinned black women and loathes her own black skin.

Emma’s insecurities have unpleasant impacts on her, including, losing John for twenty years (Scene IV) and letting her beautiful daughter die because of an illness that could otherwise have been treated by any doctor. Based on her insecurities, she has a lot of resentment towards John. She claims that John is attracted to fair-skinned women and constantly complains whenever they come across such a woman. Emma retorts, "Oh-them yaller wenches! How I hate em! They get everything they want". Emma is too much into her inadequacy that she is incapable of seeing the genuine love and affection that John has for her. In Scenes, II and IV, John tells her how much he has always loved her and desired to be with her, but she is pre-occupied with her black complexion. Moreover, Emma has a low self-esteem. She complains to John that he is amused by everything Effie does. In Scene I, Emma tells Johns, "…. Everything she does is pretty to you."

Emma is a replica of the destructive effects of an obsession with skin color among Blacks. The effects of being "color struck" that one observes during the play are increasing resentment, little confidence, invalid suspicions, as well as schizophrenia. Emma does not demonstrate hostility towards isolation, but rather is irritated by the intra-ethnic hierarchy. Emma’s mental obsession with the skin complexion denies her true happiness, love, overpowering cruelty, and thus turns out to be the only miserable person in the play. This evidently shows that such obsession is brutal to someone, deforms one’s ability of revelation, and has the likelihood of messing up prospects of success.

The contemporary implication of the play is in how it confronts notions connected with color-perception. The writer stages the reality that color discrimination takes numerous outlines. Consequently, the writer portrays a spectacular twofold twist where the two characters, John and Emma, are "color struck," although in contrasting and random manners. Emma is attracted to a fair skin complexion while plainly prefers dark women. Particularly, after Emma’s affiliation with John fails, she apparently has a sexual rapport with a Caucasian man, ensuing in the birth of a "very white girl" (Scene IV). John, on the other hand, shows that he is indeed color-struck in his inclination for black-skinned women. After the breakup with Emma, he deliberately wants a wife who is dark-skinned and "was jus’ as much" (Scene IV) like Emma as possible.

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