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Title: Feminist/ Womanist Aesthetics and the Quest for Selfhood in the Black American Novel. A Special Reference to Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and Zora Neal Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God
Authors: Amri Chenini Boutheina
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: Written by two pillars of the American black women’s tradition, Their Eyes Were Watching God and The Color Purple trace the lives of two coloured women in a typically racist and sexist American society of the early 20th century. The protagonists in the two books are women who progress physically and emotionally through a shower of social paradigms. During their quest for self-knowledge and spiritual fulfilment, they clash with the belittling values that their daily circumstances impose upon them. Both novels are a kind of "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Black Woman". They depict the process of a woman’s coming to consciousness, finding her voice and developing the power to lead a life on her own. This fresh and muchneeded perspective was met with incomprehension by the male literary establishment in the case of Hurston. However, Walker’s experiences decades later were very successful in a literary climate that changes with the tick of the second; despite controversies about the image of black culture and the reviving of old stereotypes. Thematically and technically Walker and Hurston reclaim two territories: the experience of uneducated rural southern women and the language of black folk culture. Our purpose in this study is to show essentially how black women writers use their literary productions to tell the stories of black women who try to find out the truth about themselves and the world they live in through different circumstances and in different cultures. To achieve this goal, we found it necessary to employ textual and thematic criticism.
Appears in Collections:Département d'anglais

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