Date of Award

5-1-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Susan P. Wright

Second Advisor

Dr. Viktor O. Osinubi

Third Advisor

Dr. Alma Vinyard

Abstract

This thesis examines the efforts necessary to mask and the aftermath in

doing so as illustrated in Daniel Black’s Perfect Peace and Obery Hendricks’s

Living Water. The focus of this study is to explore how Black and Hendricks

demonstration of Dunbar’s concept of masking evolves from societal

oppression. The environment and social constructions within the two novels

centralizes the cause to wear the mask. The female characters discussed in this

paper tacitly agree with their oppressors to at least pretend to submit to their

own oppression. Black and Hendricks develop female characters that emerge

from their oppression and achieve self-assertion. The female characters

redefine and redeem themselves through unconventional concepts of heroism.