Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) by Suzan-Lori Parks (2014)

On first reading, immediately read it again.  And again.  A huge accomplishment.  And only 1/3 done.

Part 1: A Measure of a Man

  • Immediately into the action
  • Is Hero going to war or not?
  • The chorus is betting on whether he’ll go
  • The dog is missing
  • Hero will win his freedom if he goes
  • But Boss-Master has promised that before
  • Hero cut off Homer’s foot
  • Hero decides to go
  • Penny enters; she does not get why Hero is dressed in his uniform
  • In the morning he told Penny he wasn’t going
  • Penny guesses Boss-Master promised Hero his freedom
  • Hero’s dog brings him luck, and the dog has gone missing
  • Hero decides again not to go
  • The others worry what that will mean for them
  • To support the decision, Hero must harm himself
  • Hero is preparing to cut off his foot – then Homer enters
  • Homer and Hero were going to escape together
  • Boss-Master offered Hero freedom if he would reveal where Homer escaped to
  • Hero revealed it, but freedom but not given

Part 2: A Battle in the Wilderness

  • They are close to the battle lines
  • Singing together
  • Has Hero run off?
  • The discussion about how much Hero is worth
  • The Colonel’s speech on being white
  • Colonel says he is going to shoot Smith
  • Smith is wearing two Yankee coats
  • The Colonel leaves Hero and Smith alone
  • General Grant’s theatrics
  • Smith’s reveal
  • Hero’s concern that he won’t be worth anything if the North wins
  • Hero lets Smith escape but declines to join him

Part 3: The Union of My Confederate Parts

  • Ulysses returns
  • Penny goes