An Analysis Of Aunt Ester's Heroic Journey

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Although Aunt Ester is commonly acknowledged as the main character, Gem of the Ocean revolves around Citizen Barlow’s story. Aunt Ester or Ester Tyler is a symbol of the entire history of African Americans first arriving on slave ships in 1619 (Wood, par 1). Citizen was an individual like millions of others thrust into the unjust grasp of an American culture towards black people. Citizen was a lost man buried in his transgressions. The basis that Aunt Ester and the other characters created in Gem assemble an accurate depiction of the many different challenges present in the black society in 1904. Through the characters, Aunt Ester most importantly, Citizen Barlow is able to have a transformation that not only transcends his own personal arc, but which also allows the audience to embrace the struggles of black society. Through the audience’s suspense of disbelief Aunt Ester is able to wash Citizen from his sins. Very rarely does Aunt Ester act predictably. She’s older then what is commonly thought to be humanly possible. Why is this?…show more content…
Like Jeff Whitty’s musical Avenue Q where many of the characters are puppets instead of people—an intent to lighten some of the heavy content of the play—so too is Aunt Ester’s character similarly changing the audience’s feelings about the other character’s and their actions. Clearly, both writers had different implications on what they were trying to communicate and tonally create; however, both use the technique of suspending the audiences’ disbelief to cover real ideas and problems. Firstly, Aunt Ester gave Citizen food, a bed and work to do without asking anything in return. Sure Aunt Ester was a kind person but even after he confessed he was a thief and responsible for an innocent man’s death she still had no doubts in

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