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Cultural suicides, island retreats, and diasporic revelations: A socio-historical approach to Paule Marshall's "Praisesong for the Widow" and Toni Morrison's "Tar Baby"

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Date Issued:
1999
Summary:
As reflected in Paule Marshall's Praisesong for the Widow and Toni Morrison's Tar Baby, many black characters in literature with a Caribbean setting inhabit a realm of stasis. They negotiate two worlds---a white world with hierarchies of power and success and selective acceptance, and a black world, usually with restricted power. Caught between these two worlds, the exiled slowly begin to lose their sense of roots and to embrace cultural suicide. Some flee to the Caribbean, where they may regain what is lost. This paradise, with all its historical markers of the African diaspora, ultimately forces these characters either to confront their rootlessness and to reconnect with the community or to destroy any connections they once had. In dramatizing the journeys and choices of their protagonists, Marshall and Morrison reinvent the Caribbean not just as a retreat, but as a site for reclamation of black identity.
Title: Cultural suicides, island retreats, and diasporic revelations: A socio-historical approach to Paule Marshall's "Praisesong for the Widow" and Toni Morrison's "Tar Baby".
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Name(s): Minto, Deonne Nicole.
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
King, Natalie, Thesis advisor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 1999
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 123 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: As reflected in Paule Marshall's Praisesong for the Widow and Toni Morrison's Tar Baby, many black characters in literature with a Caribbean setting inhabit a realm of stasis. They negotiate two worlds---a white world with hierarchies of power and success and selective acceptance, and a black world, usually with restricted power. Caught between these two worlds, the exiled slowly begin to lose their sense of roots and to embrace cultural suicide. Some flee to the Caribbean, where they may regain what is lost. This paradise, with all its historical markers of the African diaspora, ultimately forces these characters either to confront their rootlessness and to reconnect with the community or to destroy any connections they once had. In dramatizing the journeys and choices of their protagonists, Marshall and Morrison reinvent the Caribbean not just as a retreat, but as a site for reclamation of black identity.
Identifier: 9780599568549 (isbn), 15752 (digitool), FADT15752 (IID), fau:12566 (fedora)
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 1999.
Subject(s): Marshall, Paule, 1929- Praisesong for the widow
Morrison, Toni. Tar baby.
Blacks--Race identity
American fiction--20th century
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fcla/dt/15752
Sublocation: Digital Library
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.