Date of Award

5-1-1994

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

English

First Advisor

Mary A. Twining, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

David F. Dorsey

Third Advisor

Keith Baird

Abstract

The focal point of this study is the examination of ancestral remembrance and the effects of that presence on the epic fulfillmeht of the female heroic characters in two of Toni Morrison’s novels Beloved and Sula. As a comparative study, this dissertation concerns itself with identifying the common cultural assumptions, values and traditions attributed to the African world and the African Americans illustrated in two of Morrison’s novels. To this end, the ontological principles that unify African world culture and the accompanying cosmological categories delineate the discussion of motifs, images, and archetypes employed by Morrison to invoke the ancestral presence. Moreover, this study explores the use of ritual defined by deliberate rhetoric that frames apocalyptic ideas and advances epic achievement.

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