Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MA English

Department

English

Advisor

Dr. Simone Alexander

Committee Member

Dr. Jeffrey Gray

Keywords

Native Son, A Raisin in the Sun, Prospero's Daughter, Colonialism, Patriarchy, Mimicry

Abstract

The elements associated with mimicry and colonialism are found in Elizabeth Nunez’s Prospero’s Daughter (2006), as the novel reveals how colonized subjects use mimicry to survive their colonized spaces. Keeping in mind the ideologies of Homi Bhabha and Wumi Raji, the novel also suggests how a subject’s pre-existing condition before being colonized develops agency. Comparably, while Elizabeth Nunez’s novel illustrates how imitation is used by black and native Caribbeans, Richard Wright’s Native Son (1940) and Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun (1958) contextualize and exhibit W.E.B. Du Bois’s double-consciousness theory and the struggles that black Americans experience while mimicking whiteness or Western mores. Evaluating representations of black manhood and womanhood in the United States, or more specifically, Chicago’s Southside, Wright and Hansberry also reveal how race, class, gender, and religion intersect and dictate the lives of black people on a daily basis. Together, Nunez, Wright, and Hansberry reconfigure the often mimicked—or performed—portrayals of black gender roles and sexuality under a white patriarchal society.

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