Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Skystreak D-588-I designed my Douglas Aircraft Company
"Benny didn't care about what I had to say. He needed all his children to kneel down and let him be the boss. He wasn't a businessman, he was a plantation boss; a slaver."(111)
Easy compares the dynamic in the airplane hangar to a plantation system in which the black workers are treated like slaves and the white manager takes on the role of "the boss". Irony can be found in this description because airplanes are a symbol of freedom of movement. A plantation system inhibits upward movement in the economic sense. Easy is emancipated only after he leaves the hangar because his "bills were paid and it felt good to have stood up for [himself]. [He] had a notion of freedom when [he] walked out to [his] car"(112). Standing up to Benny is one of Easy's most triumphant moments in the novel. He is perhaps only able to do this because he has earned enough money from Albright to pay his bills. It is clear that Easy draws his strength to overcome racial adversity from possession of money and property. Perhaps this is a large factor in his preoccupation with keeping his home.
Champion Aircraft was not actually founded until 1954 (http://www.amerchampionaircraft.com/) and we found no proof that there was ever a plant located in Santa Monica. However, Santa Monica became a forerunner of development in the aerospace industry after Donald Douglas founded Douglas Aircraft Company there in 1921 (http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9065603/Santa-Monica). Perhaps the location chosen by Mosley is more significant than the aircraft company. Santa Monica was known for being a white neighborhood. Easy does not feel comfortable in this environment and spends as little time there as possible.
Picture taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Skystreak
Posted by L.A. Stories at 10:07 PM