Within the context of African American literature, there is a common portrayal of a self-conscious narrator who takes on a quest for his or her own self-definition. This portrayal is frequently led by the so-called mulatto, a character of mixed background who is passing and has this ability to be able to cross over the coloured line to the white side. However, this white passing comes with a heavy internal conflict and this struggle for self-identity is captured in The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. James Weldon Johnson epitomizes the struggles that a mixed-race protagonist would experience as he crosses the social boundary from the coloured side to the white side. Through this portrayal of a mixed race coloured man, Johnson is able to portray two well established literary troupes within African American literature: the tragic mulatto and the ex-slave narrative.
The Visual and the Written in Persepolis An autobiography usually has a purpose as to why it was written, either to try and fight or change something, like in Fredrick Douglass ' Narrative of an American Slave, to tell a life story, or show historical and political history through the personal life story and experiences. One way of telling that personal story is through a visual autobiography, not the conventional way, but, in my opinion a much more powerful and engaging way of telling one 's life story. It gives the reader a chance to engage in the personal life story and really sympathize and understand it. In the following paper I will discuss the visual autobiography of Marjane Satrapi- Persepolis. I will show how presenting the life story in a visual manner contributes to a dipper understanding of what the autobiographer tries to convey, and how it helps to empathize with the autobiographer.
A narrative told with an autobiographical style can lead the audience to take the place of the narrator of the story. The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson manifests his use of narration to create a façade of an autobiography with the use of strategic relatability and false reliability. The sense of autobiography Johnson is drawing on appears to have an omniscient point in view, as in what he is inquiring, is already insinuated or known. Johnson allures upon the aspects of race and authenticity to establish an autobiography-like narrative, to convey a message of uncertain identity. The purpose of Johnson’s intended autobiography is to create a story in which black and white societies are different, while the incorporation of failed authenticity shows that possibly the narrator’s fake experiences are relatable, which also involves the subject of humanity.
Third, I will examine the criticism put forward by Molefi Kete Asante, who argued that ‘double-consciousness’ should not be seen as a universal feature of black life in America since it only applies to African-Americans in certain positions in society. However, I will conclude that through looking at modern society we can see that Du Bois’ work continues to be influential and thus must be taken to be a sound investigation into ‘The Souls of Black Folk’. In the first chapter of ‘The Souls of Black Folk’, Du Bois defined ‘double consciousness’ as a ‘sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity’ (1903). Du Bois emphasised the feeling of inner conflict African-Americans feel: being Black, where you are labeled as a ‘problem’ (1903) and are ignored, pitied and stigmatised, and being American, which serves as a constant reminder of a legacy of oppression. He wrote that ‘One ever feels his two-ness, -an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled
Introduction Historically speaking, the collective enterprise we now know as African American or black literature is of rather recent vintage. In fact, the strong presence of African American literature has paved the way for the emergence of Native American, Asian American, and Chicano American streams of literature. African-American literature - produced in the United States by writers of African descent, begins with the works of 18th-century writers. Toni Morrison - a novelist who had set her fiction in key periods of black U.S. history, had dedicated her literary career to ensure that blacks experiencing slavery would not be left to the interpretation solely at the dictates of whites. The discrimination that continues to be the African American experience has brought forth in Morrison one of the most significant voices of her race and age.
He is the narrator in the novel but at the same time a writer of his autobiography, and throughout his narration he continually reminds the reader of the fictional nature of the story he is telling by means of his self-reflexive remarks. And the inclusion of historical novels and personages in the novel’s metafictional context implies their fictionality and problematizes them as well. Furthermore, the role of the reader in a metafictional context, as Hutcheon argues, is no longer of a passive receiver, but that of an active participant in the writing process: “The reader’s task becomes increasingly difficult and demanding, as he sorts out the various narrative threads. The universe he thus creates, he must then acknowledge as fictional and of his own making”(1980:49)
Walter P. Wenska argues, in his journal "Bradford's Two Histories: Pattern and Paradigm in Of Plymouth Plantation," that Bradford is the creator when it comes to American history (Wenska 151). He believes that it is the earliest and best of the American works (Wenska 151). Wenska claims that by analyzing the text, readers can understand that time frame that it came from (Wenska 152). Also, Wenska believes that the style that the text was written in, being not fully finished, adds symbolism showing the beginnings marking an end in the Americas (Wenska 154). Minor Wallace Major claims that Bradford was made a tradition of American literature because Of Plymouth Plantation which he describes in his journal "William Bradford versus Thomas Morton," (Major 1).
The black man only becomes aware of his blackness when in contact with the white world. In this essay, I will attempt to bring forward this issue of race and becoming aware of it. Drawing from my personal experience, I will discuss the ways in which that experience relates to Fanon’s representation of race. The writer, more often than not, makes reference to critics and other influential figures to support his views and his arguments. I will present this essay in the same manner in which Fanon presents his book, linking my personal experience to Fanon’s and some other important historical and cultural figures’ views.
This can also help to trace down the life of the writer and find out the autobiographical elements added in the fiction. These elements are to be inspected to find out whether they are in the same order as it had happened to the writer in the lifetime or to find the misplacement of events and know the reasons why the author decided to do so. This concept of Chronotopes helps the readers as well the writer not to miss the story line. By tracking either the places where the character moves along throughout the novel or at the time period it lives in or also taking the age of the character this could be tracked down to keep in the plot line intact. Along with this, the place where the character lives in with its sociological and political conditions can be understood so that it will help to analyze and compare it with the other settings or to the real life geographical
Toni Morrison’s 1981 novel Tar Baby can be seen as a fictional examination of questions raised by the changes brought about in African American communities and their consciousness by the Civil Rights Movements. Like most Morrison novels, Tar Baby deploys folklore and vernacular language to foreground her concerns with identity, oppression and subversion. The novel constitutes of dialogues that are both interracial, challenging the White American’s ordering of the world as well as intra-racial where the confrontation is between a privileged black middle class materialism and the vernacular discourse of the folk community. The novel begins with a dedication that reads: The ‘ancient properties’ here is an important phrase because it alludes to