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Title: Social Constraints and the Quest for a Spiritual Identity: A Comparative Study between Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy and Richard Wright’s Native Son
Authors: GOUFFI Mohammed
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: The present research delves into the social constraints, behind the tragedies of Clyde Griffiths and Bigger Thomas: protagonists of An American Tragedy and Native Son .The study equally endeavors at shedding light on the protagonist’s journey of quest for a religious identity. The dissertation therefore aims at (1) eliciting the various societal constraints (2) identifying the different aspects necessary to the establishment of a spiritual identity (3) disclosing the influence of the social constraints on the establishment of a spiritual identity within the materialistic confines of America’s twentieth century society. In their fictional renditions, Theodore Dreiser and Richard Wright denounce society for holding responsibility of the protagonists’ acts. For them, Griffiths and Thomas are not culprits, since they do not act out of their free will. Society imposes on them heavy restraints and compulsion. Accordingly, their criminality is the inevitable ramification of society’s restrictions. From a naturalistic perspective, societal constraints are to censure, not the weak Thomas and Griffiths, entirely ignorant to the law of social deterministic game. Dreiser and Wright, in other words, view them as blameless products of a disclosed environment, which predetermined their actions. In a sense, the two novels constitute an excruciating testimony to the consequences of the social constraints.....
Appears in Collections:Département d'anglais

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