Date of Award

12-1-2001

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Ernestine W. Pickens

Abstract

This study examines the role gender plays in The Third Life of Grange Copeland and The Color Purple. The study shows how and why the main male characters are attributed traditionally feminine traits and the leading female characters given traditionally masculine traits. The male characters' common disrespect for women and their fear of their own femininity foreground their abuse of women. Because women are believed to be socially inferior to men, the main characters take on masculine roles to compensate for the missing elements needed to obtain a balanced personality. The conclusions of this examination suggest that Alice Walker believes that the characteristics that define both male and female roles work together to produce a balanced disposition within an individual.

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