Clybourne Park

by

Bruce Norris

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Gentrification Term Analysis

The process of transformation that low-income urban neighborhoods undergo when there is an influx of more affluent residents into the neighborhood. One of the results of gentrification is that the people who have historically lived in the gentrifying neighborhood are no longer able to afford to live there. This often begins with affluent families outbidding poorer families on homes in newly desirable areas, which subsequently raises property values, which eventually guarantees that only affluent renters or purchasers can stay or move into the area. This also leads to changes in businesses, and an eventual change in the culture and demographics of a neighborhood.

Gentrification Quotes in Clybourne Park

The Clybourne Park quotes below are all either spoken by Gentrification or refer to Gentrification. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Race and Racism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition of Clybourne Park published in 2011.
Act 2 Quotes

Lindsey: Can I say? We talked about renovation. We discussed it. Because these houses are so charming and I know it’s a shame — but when you figure in the crack in the sub-floor and the cost of the lead abatement — and in a market like this one? It just made more sense to start from scratch.
Tom: Right. But: the Owners Association has a vested interest — Kevin and Lena call me up last month, they say Tom, we’ve got this problem, these people are planning to build a house that’s a full fifteen feet taller than all the adjacent structures…and I think we’d all agree that there’s a mutual benefit to maintaining the integrity — the architectural integrity…of a historically significant…neighborhood.

Related Characters: Tom Driscoll (speaker), Lindsey (speaker), Steve, Lena, Kevin
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:

Lindsey: And you know, the thing is? Communities change.
Steve: They do.
Lindsey: That’s just the reality.
Steve: It is.
Lena: And some change is inevitable, and we all support that, but it might be worth asking yourself who exactly is responsible that change?
Lindsey: I’m not sure what you—?
Kevin: Wait, what are you trying to—?
Lena: I’m asking you to think about the motivation behind the long-range political initiative to change the faith of this neighborhood….I mean that this is a highly desirable area…And I’m saying that there are certain economic interests that are being served by those changes and others that are not. That’s all.

Related Characters: Lindsey (speaker), Steve (speaker), Lena (speaker), Kevin (speaker)
Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:

Steve: The history of America is the history of private property.
Lena: That may be —
Steve: Read De Tocqueville.
Lena: —though I rather doubt your grandparents were sold as private property.
Steve: Ohhhhh my god. Look. Look. Humans are territorial, okay?
Lindsey: Who are you?
Steve: This is why we have wars. One group, one tribe, tries to usurp some territory — and now you guys have this territory, right? And you don’t like having it stolen away from you, the way white people stole everything else from black America. We get it, okay? And we apologize. But what good does it do, if we perpetually fall into the same, predictable little euphemistic tap dance around the topic?
Kevin: You know how to tap dance?
Steve: See? See what he’s doing?!!
Lindsey: Maybe quit while you’re ahead.
Steve: No. I’m sick of — No. Every single word we say is — is — is scrutinized for some kind of latent — Meanwhile you guys run around saying n-word this and n-word that and whatever. We all know why there’s a double standard but I can’t even so much as repeat a fucking joke that the one black guy I know told me —

Related Characters: Lindsey (speaker), Steve (speaker), Lena (speaker), Kevin (speaker)
Page Number: 185
Explanation and Analysis:

Well you’re being an idiot. And in case you hadn’t noticed, the rest of the world has begun a more sophisticated conversation about this topic than you apparently are qualified to participate in at this incredible moment in history. I mean, I used to date a black guy. So what? I mean, seriously. Steve. Wake up.

Related Characters: Lindsey (speaker), Steve, Lena, Kevin
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:

Lindsey: Well, I want to say this: I want to say I feel angry. And I’m basically kind of hurt by the implication that’s been made that, just because we want to live as your neighbors and raise a child alongside yours, that somehow, in the process of doing that, we’ve had our ethics called into question. Because that is hurtful.

Related Characters: Lindsey (speaker), Lena (speaker), Steve, Kevin
Page Number: 200
Explanation and Analysis:
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