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The Complex Web of Othernesses in Marcus Gardley’s Play The Road Weeps, the Well Runs Dry

Department of English and German Philology, University of Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
Societies 2018, 8(4), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc8040104
Received: 15 August 2018 / Revised: 4 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 23 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Representations of Transmodern War Contexts in English Literature)
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Abstract

Marcus Gardley’s play The Road Weeps, the Well Runs Dry (2013) traces the development of a Black Seminole community in the Indian Territory from 1850 to 1866, with occasional flashbacks to the days of the Seminoles’ removal from Florida. Rather than positing a unified ethnicity, the action reveals a complex web of Othernesses, including characters identified as “black”, others as “full-blood Seminole”, and still others as “black and Seminole”. Given the lack of ethnic unity, the new community constructs an identity in its distinction from and enmity with the neighboring Creeks, pointing to an underlying irony since the Creeks actually represent a main component in the ethnogenesis of the Seminoles in the 18th century. By calling attention to this simulacrum of Otherness, the play questions identity formation based on difference from an Other. Finally, Christian and pagan beliefs and customs live side by side in the community and compete for dominance over it. The multiple frictions caused by inner-group disputes, external conflicts with a constructed Other and religious discord lead to outbursts of violence that threaten to tear the community apart. Only a re-integration of its component parts can save it. View Full-Text
Keywords: Black Seminoles; collective identity; web of Othernesses Black Seminoles; collective identity; web of Othernesses
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Neumann, C.-P. The Complex Web of Othernesses in Marcus Gardley’s Play The Road Weeps, the Well Runs Dry. Societies 2018, 8, 104.

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