Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story

The play West Side Story, by Arthur Laurents, is primarily based upon the play Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare. Regardless of a few variations, each performs, in essence, have the same plot. The source of violence in Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story is the ever-present hatred involving families and between gangs, although, since of the “star-cross’d lovers” motif in Romeo and Juliet, the hatred plays a bigger role in making the ending of West Side Story than it does the ending of Romeo and Juliet.

The tension and hatred amongst gangs in West Side Story has a drastic affect on Maria and Tony’s connection as effectively as on the outcome of the play. For the reason that of the hatred in between their respective gangs, Tony and Maria are not able to meet or even talk in public – they ought to do it secretly. Also, Bernardo and Riff are powerful focuses of hate. They can not see previous their blind hatred for each other. Because of this, both of them, as properly as Tony, are killed in the “rumble.” Anita’s hatred for the Jets is fueled by their treatment of her at Doc’s candy retailer. This influences her to tell them that Maria is dead, as a result affecting the ending of the play. Chino is one more supply of hatred. When Tony kills Bernardo, Chino is driven by the require for revenge and he kills Tony.

In order to fully recognize the plot of West Side Story, a single ought to have an understanding of the nature of gangs in the 1950’s and know the factors for their actions. In between 1941 and 1956, far more than 500,000 Puerto Ricans moved to big cities in the U.S. such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Cleveland. The majority of them lived in poor areas of their city. Puerto Rican gangs formed so that they could safeguard themselves from prejudiced Americans. Several people today took advantage of the immigrants’ poor social status. For example, Bernardo says, “And Chino tends to make half what the Polack tends to make – the Polack is American!” (Laurents 165) Youth agencies and youth boards concluded that most gangs formed mainly because of the poverty, illness, and racism present in the ghetto. Gangs, which had been generally made up of teenagers, fought over girls, territory (otherwise identified as “turf”), and racial matters. Italian, Jewish, and Irish gangs were worried that the Puerto Ricans have been taking more than their “turf”. “Turf” could variety anywhere from…

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