I enjoyed watching the play Caroline, or Change tonight. It was fantastic! Let me first begin by giving Karisa a shout out for the warm welcome. You go girl! All of the characters were outstanding. You can really tell that they all enjoyed the play as much as the audience did. All of them sung their hearts out, even the main character, had Jennifer Hudson moment. I couldn’t really tell if it was her character crying or her. It was awesome! I didn’t know that we had so much talent here at CSU.
The play’s setting was in 1963 inLake Charles,Louisiana. One of the historical events that had a great impact on all of the characters was the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The Negro characters were heartbroken throughout the play when they heard the news about his death, because JFK promised to help the black community produce change. The main character, Caroline, was a maid for a Jewish family. She done all of her housework in their basement making $30 week supporting 4 children. Caroline shared a special bond with her employers’ son, Noah, who recently lost his mother and his father married a woman from NYC; who he didn’t like. Noah is very fond of Caroline, but she doesn’t like Noah (she really does though). Caroline definitely suffers from the “angry black woman” syndrome. Let me digress for a moment. I hate the stereotype that all black women are angry. All black women are not angry. But this semester racism and sexism is a current theme in all of my literature classes and let me just say: Black women have a lot to be angry about! That’s another post! Back to the play…Caroline is tired of everything. She is tired of working for $30 a week, tired of pain, bitterness, and most of all sorrow. It is her sorrow that troubles her the most. She believes that her sorrow has made her angry and evil. As a divorcee, she struggles taking care of her children by herself. She can’t afford to give them extra money for candy and little silly things that all children desire nor take one of her children to the dentist to get his tooth fixed.
Noah has a bad habit of leaving change in pants’ pockets. His stepmother, Rose, always scolds him for leaving money in his pockets. She believes that it is very offensive to Caroline to find his loose money carelessly left in his pocket. Rose “sympathizes” with Caroline since she is the poor maid. She tries to befriend Caroline by offering her the leftovers to take home to her children. To teach Noah a lesson Rose decides if Caroline finds any of Noah’s change in the laundry she can keep it. The monetary value of change represents several other things in the play; for instance, the monetarily value, the physical features of change, and most importantly the social change that it represents. Caroline is very prideful and refuses to take change from Noah, she argues with Rose, “I will not take pennies from a baby. I will put it in the bleach cup as always,” this also symbolizes her stubbornness to seek change in her own lives and to see the change in her young daughter, Emmie. Noah begins to leave change on purpose because it makes him feel important. Eventually, Caroline takes the change and also begins to accept the change in her daughter. The conflict in the play is when Noah accidently leaves a $20 bill, hence, too much change for Caroline. He demands it back. Caroline believes she has a right to it. She has had the right to all of the other change that was left in his pocket. Unwillingly, Caroline gives the money back and it “changes” their relationship forever.
I hope I didn’t offer too much detail to the play for those that haven’t seen yet. During the Civil Rights Movement African – Americans were demanding change. Most of theAmericafelt that the blacks were asking for change to soon, or asking for too much change. Equal Rights was a necessary change, a righteous change and no one could ever ask for justice to soon, or too much.