Exile, Home, and Identity in Toni Morrison

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Title: Exile, Home, and Identity in Toni Morrison
Author: Audi, Evelyn L.
Advisors: Jon Francis Thompson, Chair
Antony Harrison, Member
Nicholas Halpern, Member
Abstract: The purpose of the research has been to develop a theory of identity that addresses Toni Morrison's treatment of home as a metaphor for self-identity, not just an idealized locus in the past. One application of this theory has been explored in the novel Tar Baby in which Morrison addresses the predicament of homelessness in relationship to African-American love relationships. Another application of this theory deals with the problem of being at home in a cultural and psychological sense and being at home in a physical and bodily sense. In both Beloved and Tar Baby, Toni Morrison reveals that these considerations are indivisible. There is also consideration that Beloved reveals Morrison's theory on writing the female black body in response to the treatment of that body in historical documents. For Morrison the black female body is peripheral either in previous slave narratives or in historical master narratives. Thus, for Morrison, a theory of self-identity includes the idea that cultural and bodily identity are inseparable from notions of home and together these elements give insight into self-identity, self-direction and self-fulfillment.
Date: 2000-09-15
Degree: MA
Discipline: English
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/647

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