Date of Award

January 1940

Degree Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

Because it is generally known that Andre Gide is one of France's most influential contemporary writers, there is no need to justify a study based on his works. Desirous of obtaining the opinion of an influential white author concerning Negroid people and learning his activities in their behalf, the writer of this thesis undertook the study, Andre Gide end the Negro. The value of such a study to the American Negro lies primarily in (1) a better acquaintance with and appreciation for one whose interest in darker people has resulted in a tangible contribution; (2) a knowledge of the condition of a people, who, though distant in territory, are kindred in race, and (3) a challenge for scholastic accomplishment. The method of procedure was a careful analysis of Voyage au Congo and Retour du Tchad supplemented by collateral readings. To secure information concerning Mr. Gide's official investigation in 1938 of the natives' educational facilities in Senegal, a letter was sent him. Despite the anxiety which must be his because of the present war in which his country is involved, the eminent author found time to respond. His reply is quoted on page thirty-one of this study. Grateful acknowledgment is hereby given both Mr. Gide for his amicable letter and Professor Cook, who made such a contact possible. The various factors for the evolution of Gide's interest in Negroid people are shown in Chapter I. Chapter II contains a discussion of the colonial abuses existing in French Equatorial Africa exposed by Gide and his efforts to eradicate these. Through Chapter III one learns the author's personal impression of the morale and intelligence of Negroid people. In Chapter IV an interpretation of Gide's literary art in Voyage au Gang and Retour du Tchad is presented. The results are summarized in the conclusion.

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