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The Guest Book


"An American epic in the truest sense…"
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Discuss The Guest Book by Sarah Blake:
What do you think about Moss, a privileged white man, making his claim about "A Raisin in the Sun", a play depicting the experience of African Americans?

Created: 07/02/19

Replies: 7

Posted Jul. 02, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2032

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What do you think about Moss, a privileged white man, making his claim about

Moss declared to Reg that seeing "A Raisin in the Sun" was "the first time I'd ever seen my own story on stage..." What do you think about Moss, a privileged white man, making this claim about a play depicting the experience of African Americans?


Posted Jul. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ruthiea

Join Date: 02/03/14

Posts: 174

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RE: What do you think about Moss, a privileged white man, making his claim about "A Raisin in the Sun", a play depicting the experience of African Americans?

I think Moss was, and believed he was, more enlightened than others in his circle, and yet, I do not think he understood why his statement was offensive. There is a difference between sympathizing with the plight of another and actually experiencing what they have lived. I think Moss was open to being educated, but Reg had no patience, only anger, and it raises the question of whether the best approach for change is outreach and education or protest and anger - Martin Luther King vs. Louis Farrakhan, Ghandi vs anyone etc. Sometimes one method is better than the other and both are valid.


Posted Jul. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Harley's Mom

Join Date: 02/21/19

Posts: 13

RE: What do you think about Moss, a privileged white man, making his claim about "A Raisin in the Sun", a play depicting the experience of African Americans?

In making that comment to Reg, I don't think he was saying he could relate to the black experience. Rather, I think he was addressing the idea of how hopes and dreams can be thwarted by social limitations. The play's title is taken from the Langston Hughes poem "Harlem" in which he says a dream deferred might "dry up like a raisin in the sun." Moss' dream is to pursue a career in music but, because he is a Milton, he feels forced into banking to live up to his family's expectations. Reg sees a privileged white male equating himself with a struggling working class black family whose dreams are destined to be deferred due to racism and the limitations of class structure.


Posted Jul. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LisaBB

Join Date: 05/12/19

Posts: 6

RE: What do you think about Moss, a privileged white man, making his claim about "A Raisin in the Sun", a play depicting the experience of African Americans?

I think Harley's Mom makes a good point about Moss' good intentions and his understanding of the play. While today we might call this cultural appropriation, it makes sense for the time period that Moss would openly state his feelings in the way he does to a Black friend without seeing anything wrong or strange in doing so. I think it's also worth noting here that there are many, many indications throughout the novel that Moss is gay, so while he is a privileged white man, he is the black sheep of his family, and a minority in society in his own right.


Posted Jul. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pnelson384

Join Date: 05/13/19

Posts: 3

RE: What do you think about Moss, a privileged white man, making his claim about

I don't think it is unusual for people of privilege, both social privilege and economic privilege, to feel that they understand what it is like for those in different circumstances. They may feel that they understand the daily Dynamics and can relate to them in their own way. It is part of the problem we face here in the US - people of privilege are defensive about that privilege instead of being open to understand the different worlds we walk in. This character in particular may feel as though he relates due to his sexual preference, but I think it is still a completely different thing because the color of your skin isn't something you can choose whether or not to share with strangers.


Posted Jul. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 379

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RE: What do you think about Moss, a privileged white man, making his claim about

Moss was so different from the other members of his family and in some ways a lost soul. He was insulated from the grief of his brother's death which might have added pressure to him following in his father's footsteps. He rebelled against everything his family believed in and was trying to find his own place in the world of music but really seemed to understand little of it. He didn't understand the plight of African Americans but wanted to bond with them. He just seemed to drift around and be lost.


Posted Jul. 31, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
corinne

Join Date: 06/17/11

Posts: 10

RE: What do you think about Moss, a privileged white man, making his claim about "A Raisin in the Sun", a play depicting the experience of African Americans?

There is no way Moss could empathize with the African American population. When you come from wealth you do not have to scrape for anything. The thought of your next meal does not even enter your mind. You don't always get what you want as Moss found out when he was expected to follow in his father's footsteps and go into banking and finance. You have to live what the African Americans live to fully understand.


Posted Aug. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Elizabeth

Join Date: 07/10/19

Posts: 2

RE: What do you think about Moss, a privileged white man, making his claim about "A Raisin in the Sun", a play depicting the experience of African Americans?

I thought Moss seemed an immature fool for thinking that he could know what a black man would feel like or experience in any circumstance. Yes, we can all imagine what it is to walk in another man's shoes but that is all it is, imagination. At best, he may have had empathy for Reg.


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