My view on Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls is one of slight confusion. It is hard to follow when you’re used to grammatically correct language and proper punctuation. The story behind the play was good, even if the writing was slightly confusing. At times it was hard to figure out who was talking because I could not put a face to the “name.”
One of the woman’s stories about how she had a pimp really made me think back to the first few weeks of the course curriculum when we discussed the commercial sexual exploitation of children. I remember that the young women went through things they didn’t need to and that they were forced to deal with what the pimp wanted. The author’s writing, however, made the play harder to understand. There were constant gaps in which I would not be sure of a word and, no matter how many times I would read the sentence I would still get lost on the word she was using. I never really thought that one’s writing style could change how you view and comprehend their writing. The shortening of words makes reading difficult.It also puts me off slightly to reading the book. I prefer books with proper grammar and punctuation to a play where some things are missing or changed grammatically.
It’s not that I view something like that to be poorly written, because I’m sure that many of the books or plays written like that are amazing. My comfort zone, however, does not allow me to read these books, so much as the ones that are easier to read. For example, I would rather read a long tedious book filled with almost a thousand pages than a play that has about sixty six pages because the tedious book is easier for me to read grammatically, unlike the sixty six paged play. For Colored Girls is a play I feel I’d enjoy more if it wasn’t written in the way it was.
I also feel that at times the women and the writing are affirming the racial stereotypes people have about black people. While I’m not saying For Colored Girls is a bad book, I think for me it should have been written differently. The book itself is very depressing, talking about the struggles women went through, such as the Lady in Blue being raped by someone she knew, someone who was nice to her, who she trusted. After that, she had to go through the shame of knowing she was raped and getting pregnant from the rape no less. As if that was not bad enough, she had to go get an abortion, praying that no one would find out that she got pregnant. She could not handle the shame, and, for her, it was a horrible and degrading experience.
For Colored Girls explains what people of color suffer through and have to put up with in society. The Lady in Brown is like all of the woman combined. She opens the play and ends the play. She is the one who tells us how the story will play out, and what happens to the women and how they get out of their depression and suicidal state.