African culture, racism, slavery, freedom, and equality in the novels of Toni Morrison


  • Dr. J. Jayakumar


Racism, Gender, Class Discrepancy and Feminism,Alienation, Disintegration, Nostalgia and Detachment and Attachment


African American literature tends to focus on themes of particular interest on Black people. The role of African Americans within the larger American society and issues such as African American culture, racism, religion, slavery, freedom, and equality. This focus began with the earliest African American writings, such as the slave narrative genre in the early 19th century, and continues through the work of many modern day authors. Another characteristic of African American literature is its strong tradition of incorporating oral poetry into itself. There are many examples of oral poetry in African American culture, including spirituals, African American gospel music, blues and rap. This oral poetry also shows up in the African American tradition of Christian sermons, which Take use of deliberate repetition, cadence and alliteration. All of these examples of oral verse have made their way into African American literature. However, while these characteristics exist on many levels of African American literature, they are not the exclusive definition of the genre. In African literature the themes of Alienation and dispossession are widely accepted one, it should be noted that it emerges as natural consequences of the existential predicament both in intrinsic and extrinsic terms. In order to approach and analyze the treatment of alienation and consequential dispossession in African literature seems worthwhile to understand various nuances of the word alienation. A dictionary of literary terms defined as: “Alienation is the state of being alienated or estranged from something or somebody; it is a condition of the mind”. Encyclopedia Britannica defines alienation as the state of feeling estranged or separated from ones milieu, work, and products of work or self. The English word ‘Alienation’ is derived from the Latin word ‘Alienato’. Alianato is a noun which receives meaning from the verb ‘alien are’ which means to make a thing for others, to snatch, to avoid, to remove etc. In French language Alienate and alienation, are used in the same sense as the English words ‘Alienate and Alienation. Anomie and Anomia are used as Synonyms of Alienation. The use of these words is considered modern. These words are Greek in origin the meaning of ‘Anomia’ is self – alienation and ‘Anomie’ is alienation from society. ‘Anomia’ is an indicator of personal disintegration of man from the society.


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