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Satire In Dorothy Parker’s An Arrangement In Black And White Essay

The short story written by Dorothy Parker, “An Arrangement in Black and White”, contains a lot of satirical writing. Most satirical writing is about politics and propaganda. In this story, we get to experience, in a way, that kind of satirical writing. Dorothy Parker creates a character who is too afraid to admit that she is racist. In an attempt to convince herself, the remarks she makes about the black musician at the party, seem funny at first and then you think of the real meaning. You then come to realize just how harsh this lady is. Also, how naive she is about her own beliefs.

She is willing to admit that her husband, Mr. Burton is racist, however not herself. The lady in this short story, is attending a party. At this party, there is a black musician, who she claims to be her favorite. She explains to the host; ‘Well I said to Burton, ‘It’s a good for you that Walter Williams is coloured,’I said, ‘or you’d have lots of reason to be jealous. ‘(Parker 2). At first this statement seems okay, until you analyse and think about what she just said. What she is telling the host is that, if Walter Williams, the musician, was white that she would be all over him, in other words.

The satire in this, is she wouldn’t try to “get with him” because he is black. At first it seems funny and a little upsetting for Burton but in reality it is sad for Walter. He is just like anybody else but because of his colour, the woman doesn’t want to be with him. This Woman also states; “Well, I think you’re simply marvellous, giving this perfectly marvellous party for him, and having him meet all these white people, and all. Isn’t he terribly grateful? “(Parker 2). I agree that he should be grateful, as anyone else should be.

However, why does he have to be grateful for meeting all the white people? This woman thinks that, because she believes that the black people are on a lower level than her and this is why she thinks he is lucky. I believe there is a chance that he, a black man, is more successful than some of the white people at the party, maybe even the racist woman herself. I also feel like she thinks the host, hosted the party because he felt he had too but he genuinely liked hosting the party for him, not that it was needed but because he wanted too.

As I said, she is naive and assumes that everyone has the same mindset as her about the coloured people. At least he husband has the guts to say that he is racist, not that I am saying that it is okay, but it is better than making rude remarks towards the poor innocent black male. In this short story, the woman is not only rude and uses satire towards Walter Williams, but also too a woman at the party. “Good Heavens,”she said,”is that Katherine Burke? why, she looks entirely different off the stage. I thought she was much better-looking. I had no idea she was so terribly dark. “(Parker 6).

This statement contains satire because, at first it is kinda funny, we assume she is just calling the actress ugly in person rather than on stage. Then, we come to realize she is also talking about her skin colour and how her darker skin makes her uglier. The judgemental woman is saying that she thought the black woman was pretty until she saw her skin colour. I think, she should admire that the young lady is a good actress, rather than simply focusing on her skin tone. However, she is racist yet naive about it, so she’s trying to hide her feelings towards the black people by saying that she isn’t as pretty as she thought.

The satirical writing in this short story is important because, it adds a little humour but then, also shows us just how rude and and racist the main character is. It also gives a good demonstration of how people try to hide their feelings towards black people and just how naive they are. I also believe that the host has a very important part in this story. He emphasises the satirical writing by not agreeing with the lady but also not disagreeing, so therefore it us too us to realize that what the women is saying, is not actually funny, but very rude and racist.

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