Date of Award

12-1-2003

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Department

Africana Women's Studies

First Advisor

Professor Josephine Bradley

Abstract

This study examines black identity and alienation Nella Larsen's and Tsitsi Dangarembgal’s Passing and Nervous Conditions. The novels demonstrate the authors' interpretation of the conditions within their respective societies of the impact of slavery and colonization on Africana women. As a springboard in the development of these issues, Frantz Fanon's seminal works Black Skin, White Masks and The Wretched of the Earth and the DuBoisian notion of double consciousness were used in analyzing the attitudes and behaviors of the oppressed and oppressor of Africana women. This study was based on the premise that wherever black people are located, the issues of black identity and alienation surface in Africana women's literature. The literary ethnographic method posited by Frederique Van De Poel-Knottnerus and J. David Knottnerus, "Social Life Through Ethnography," was used in the analysis of the selected texts. The results of the research illustrate that the assimilation process causes the Africana women protagonists to be alienated within the general society as well as their own families and culture. The dissertation demonstrates that assimilating within societies brings forth a sense of alienation that results in a black identity crisis for the characters.

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