January 19, 2020 posted by

Lincoln goes along with the name change and eventually lets Booth practice his card hustling on him. Spells are indicated by the repetition of character names and possess something of an “architectural look. He tells Booth to stop worrying about the past. Yr free at last! The reader knows intuitively that things are going to begin spiraling downward in this play, once Lincoln picks up the cards. Lincoln tried to live a respectable life and hold a real job.

In her introductions to each work, Mahone includes in-depth interviews that illuminate the playwrights’ perspectives on the role of the artist within a commercial theatre. He leaves the house two years after Mom deserted him and the boys. Besides, he put his money down, and that makes it real. Their speech is also marked by profanity that assaults the very essence of the person it is directed against. The end of legalized slavery beginning with the Emancipation Proclamation of and culminating with the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in had a profound impact on the thousands of Africans and their American-born children who were discriminated against based solely on the color of their skin. Booth reveals an edgy meanness as he practices his con game, alone in his room. Booth says that he had planned to do it that way.

Lincoln sits in his chair while Booth lies in bed. Booth reacts to being stood up by shooting her dead. The reader knows intuitively that things are going to begin spiraling downward in this play, once Lincoln picks up the cards. Booth says that Lincoln is jealous. Lincoln’s tired and needs to sit down after walking all day, but he will go once Topdov gets there. Booth also knows how to hit Lincoln where sunmary hurts.

Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks Plot Summary | LitCharts

Interrupting olot, his brother Lincoln enters. Booth quickly points out a card. Lincoln wakes up, still bleary-eyed. With benefits,” he says. For this reason, Booth refers to him as his mother’s “Thursday man.


When Booth shows Lincoln the ring he boosted, he reveals a past relationship with Grace that has been nothing short of disappointing. Taking their title from a collection of essays made famous by James BaldwinElam and Alexander have compiled an anthology of African-American plays that reflects a broad continuum of artistic styles and voices, from August Wilson to Kamilah Forbes and Hip-Hop Junction.

It is to Parks’s credit that the play sustains such tension and energy. He contemplates the irony of having a sit down job with benefits and being at another’s mercy when he once was the best three-card monte dealer anyone had ever seen.


The scene opens on a Thursday night. While attending German schools, Parks began to write short stories.

He wakes suddenly, hung-over and wearing his costume. Meanwhile, Lincoln continues talking about his conquest and how he’s not a has-been anymore. Booth knows that Lincoln has been putting him on, so he insists that this time Lincoln throw the cards for real.

Lincoln made a lot of money, but the death of his partner Lonny made him turn his back on hustling: Lincoln also stopped playing the cards, even though it made him more money than the arcade underdof. A short spell ensues, and Booth taunts Lincoln, asking him if he is afraid of losing to a chump. A Parable Rabbit Hole August: Booth walks around him, strutting like a rooster, to make sure Lincoln sees him.

Parks has foreshadowed this effectively with Lincoln’s almost irrational fear of even touching the cards, earlier in the play. Booth does not respond, so Lincoln asks him if something is wrong. In his excitement, topdig yells, “And look at me! He holds onto the nylon stocking because it is his inheritance; it is the last vestige he possesses of the relationship he had with his mother, even if that relationship was based on deceit and complicity in concealing the presence of her “Thursday man.


Lincoln then sits down in the easy chair and starts untying the knot at the top of the nylon stocking.

Lincoln comes in, wearing his frock coat and carrying the rest of his costume in a plastic bag, but Booth, half dressed, mistakenly believes that Grace has arrived. Thought you was uh Player.

Topdog/Underdog Summary & Study Guide

He tells Booth to turn his head because he may not want to look. Lincoln says he blew a week’s pay on nothing in particular. Booth says that he had planned to do it that way. Lincoln remarks that their mother told him he should not marry.

He tells Booth that he would be glad to put a word in for him when business picks up again, but Booth says that he cannot pretend to be someone else all day. Booth sits in a chair pretending to read a magazine when Lincoln walks in. He briefly entertains the thought of throwing the cards again when he sees that he has lost none of his technique.

Booth agrees that the idea of a normal family life was too much for their parents.

Alone, Lincoln undresses and hangs his clothes neatly over a chair.