Clybourne Park

by

Bruce Norris

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Footlocker Symbol Analysis

Footlocker Symbol Icon

In Clybourne Park, Kenneth’s military footlocker, which contains all of his possessions and his suicide note, represents Kenneth himself, and Russ and Bev’s memories of him. As they leave their home and bury the trunk, Bev hopes they will also be able to bury their grief, which would allow them to move on with their lives. Kenneth’s footlocker appears both in the first and second act. In the first act, Russ prepares to bury the trunk, and in the second act, Dan (who is played by the same actor) excavates the trunk, and in doing so releases Kenneth’s spirit, who then appears onstage for the first time. More generally, the footlocker represents historical and institutional memory. Its burial and subsequent excavation help emphasize the suppression and resurfacing of racism in Clybourne Park, which is explicit in the first act in Karl and Jim’s opposition to the Younger family moving in, and more subtle in the second act in the conversations between the Kevin, Lena, Lindsey, and Steve.

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Footlocker Symbol Timeline in Clybourne Park

The timeline below shows where the symbol Footlocker appears in Clybourne Park. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
Unamused by Russ’s joke, Bev asks if he has moved the footlocker down from upstairs like she asked. He says he hasn’t because it’s a two-person job.... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...conversation, asks Bev if she is free to go. Bev asks her to move the footlocker she’d asked Russ to move earlier. Francine reminds Bev she needs to leave by three-thirty,... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
As Bev says goodbye to Francine she mentions the footlocker, which still needs to be taken care of. Albert offers to move it, but Francine... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
...Albert and Francine enter through the front door and go upstairs to deal with the footlocker. Bev invites Betsy to the kitchen to make iced tea. Karl remembers that Bev told... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
...jacket off. He tries to interrupt the conversation but is ignored until a large Army footlocker comes crashing down the stairs. Francine, who had been holding on to it, has lost... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Disability and Inclusion Theme Icon
As Bev and Karl speak, Russ crosses to the footlocker and extracts a letter, which he begins to read. It is Kenneth’s suicide note, which... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
...to the living room from the bathroom. She offers to pay Albert for moving the footlocker, which he declines. She insists that “it’s just money,” but he refuses to take it.... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Russ, who had dragged the footlocker out to the backyard through the kitchen, returns with the work gloves he was looking... (full context)
Act 2
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
Dan interrupts again, emerging from the backyard through the kitchen, carrying the footlocker from Act I, now covered in mold and dirt. He jokes about it being buried... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Dan has entered from the backyard with bolt cutters for the footlocker, and now comes forward to try and break up the fight, putting his hand on... (full context)
Communication and Miscommunication Theme Icon
As Lindsey and Steve were cleaning up, Dan opened the footlocker with his bolt cutters. Kenneth descends the staircase, dressed in a military uniform and carrying... (full context)