The story treats with the problem of racial discrimination in Kentucky. The biggest social event at Booker T. Washington Colored Grammar School was the annual presentation of the play “Prince Charming and the Sleeping Beauty”. It was not by coincidence that the light-skinned children always played the leading parts and the good fairies; a lack of pigmentation was a decided advantage. For this special occasion the whites permitted the school to use the Opera House. The first two rows of the orchestra were always reserved for the white people, and the colored citizens sat behind them with an empty row intervening. But this year, there was a record attendance and even a few white folks were forced to sit in the intervening rows.
Although the narrator was a suitable candidate for Prince Charming, as he was black he could have never be awarded that role. His real heartbreak came when they picked Sarah Williams, his unrequited love, for Sleeping Beauty. Even though he suspected he would be rejected, he went for the part with all his heart. Nevertheless, it was the white Leonardius Wright who was assigned the starring role. Our protagonist always loathed Leonardius, the one who now got the chance to kiss Sarah every day in practicing the awakening scene.
The teachers persuaded the narrator to play the Head Evil Fairy once more but this wasn’t enough for him. During the play, he became terribly angry and revolted to the point of erupting a fist fight on stage. Finally, peace was restored after the curtains were closed, and when they were raised fifteen minutes later, the grand dramatic offering continued as planned.
Self-assertive as he was, the narrator fought for his ideals. However, he found himself bitterly disappointed after realizing that this was in vain. He seemed to be doomed from the start since colour based divisions within black community itself are deeply ingrained.
How one of the characters affected our understanding of love:
The narrator, an unnamed colored-skinned character, is the protagonist of the short story. He is determined to succeed in winning the role of Prince Charming to prove that black people could interpret a leading role in a play. But actually, his most compelling urge to achieve it was his one-sided love affair, Sarah Williams, being given the part of Sleeping Beauty. The intensity of his need for persistence made us notice how self-confident the narrator was. Therefore, this led to the idea that love can create passion where rationality does not always work. Additionally, it can prompt to take actions we normally would not do without taking care of the consequences. For instance, the narrator, blinded as he was, loses the chance to act on stage ever again after collapsing and provoking a fight out of jealousy.
Ferrara Yanet, Ferreyra Florencia, Scalerandi Julieta, Mijoch Nadia
Language III - 3º2º - 2012