Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Zoot Suit- Sleepy Lagoon

"Henry, What do you know about a big gang fight last Saturday night, out at Sleepy Lagoon?" (Pg 32)

Sleepy Lagoon is highly mythologized by the play. It is visited only in retrospect the murderer is never clearly identified. The act of the murder is carried out in pantomime by El Pachuco. Valdez uses the real location of the murder that took place in 1942 to add a sense of historical accuracy to his play. In actuality, the "crime scene" was a man lying near the reservoir. No clear evidence was over found to prove a murder had even taken place.

Never actually visiting the place is a deliberate move to create a sense of the conflicting accounts of what happened there. Several questions are created by the mythology of Sleepy Lagoon in the play

What does it mean to the reader/viewer if the play itself never fully resolves the issue of who committed murder at Sleepy Lagoon?

How does El Pachuco miming the murder change the reader/viewer's view of the trial as a whole?

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