Empowering the Dispossessed: A Postcolonial Reading of Toni Morrison's Home

Hernández Andrés, Manuel
Martínez Falquina, Silvia (dir.)

Universidad de Zaragoza, FFYL, 2014
Filología Inglesa y Alemana department, Filología Inglesa area

Máster Universitario en Estudios Textuales y Culturales en Lengua Inglesa

Abstract: In this thesis, such postmodernist and postcolonial concepts as Foucault’s power/knowledge, Said’s Orientalism, Spivak’s female Subaltern, and Bhabha’s ambivalence, mimicry and sly civility are applied to Toni Morrison’s latest novel Home (2012). Written from the point of view of the dispossessed, Home aims at tearing down the façade of happiness and goodwill that is often associated with the '50's America to show the virulent racism, unethical medical experimentation and institutional neglect African Americans had to endure during these times. Like many other characters from postcolonial texts, Frank and Cee Money, the two protagonist siblings in Home, inhabit the margins of society and consequently their voices run the risk of being engulfed by the powerful discourses of colonialism, sexism and capitalism. Despite that, Morrison’s text appropriates the master’s language and molds it in a way that challenges canonical ways of storytelling. It also creates a privilege space from which Frank Money, a Korean War veteran, can tell his own version of the story to an imaginary scribe and in doing so provide, among other things, contradictory accounts that question the veracity of received master narratives such as Western history. The community of mentoring women that Frank and Cee reach at the end of their journeys echoes the novel’s title, Home, since it is a safe and nurturing place where the trauma of racism can be mended. For those living in the diaspora, however, “home” can be at best a re-creation of the space they left behind—Africa in the case of black Americans—and since now they live in the United States, this concept becomes unreachable and is always subject to the will of the whimsical colonizer.

Free keyword(s): toni morrison ; home ; postcolonial studies
Tipo de Trabajo Académico: Trabajo Fin de Master

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