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Black Feminist Perspective of Jazz

Author HaoQing
Tutor JiShengLei
School Hebei Normal
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords black feminism self-consciousness sisterhood
CLC
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Toni Morrison, as the first American black woman writer, who has won the Nobel Prize for Literature, is one of the most influential women writers in the world. The double identities of black woman make her focus on these problems, such as black women’s self-consciousness, their search for self-identity and independence under the double oppressions of racism and patriarchy, and the influence of the sisterhood between black women. Massive academic studies have been done to her novels, among literary critical circles from different perspectives at home and abroad. The commentaries of Jazz, which is acclaimed by some critics in the United States, are either on racial resistance, artistic features or writing techniques. However, the study of Morrison in China is still limited, especially from the perspective of the black feminist. So this thesis intends to make such attempt to analyze the self-consciousness of black women of Jazz from the perspective of the black feminist.Black feminist theory is an important branch of feminism which arises in the 1970s in the United States. It mainly studies double oppressions of racism and patriarchy imposed on black women in the American society, revealing the sufferings of black women caused by the double oppressions, their different reactions, attitudes and provides methods to help black women. In the fiction, there are main three black women figures:Violet, Dorcas, Alice. They are deeply influenced by racial discrimination, patriarchy. In order to seek for self-identities, they try their best to fight. The works of Toni Morrison have always been focusing on the self-consciousness of black women, their independence under double oppressions and searching for self-identity. Jazz is no exception.Black women are under double oppressions, they are the victims of racism and patriarchy, as well as suffering from tremendously trauma from both body and spirit. Through text analysis and theoretical elaboration, it shows the striving progress of the victimized female characters and their self-consciousness, the enlightenment of the black women and the progress of their searching for self-identity, and points the direction of the rise of the black women. We can get a deeper understanding about the great female writer—Toni Morrison and her works, and summarize the inspiration of the contemporary black women by combining the black feminism with one of Toni Morrison’s works—Jazz.

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