AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 5, Number 2. May 2021 Pp.49-61
Violence/Accommodation Binary in Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition
Hind Naji Hussein Ithawi
Department of English, College of Languages
University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
Received: 3/22/2021 Accepted: 4/29/202 Published: 5/ 24/2021
The present paper examines the divergent attitudes of black characters toward racism in Charles W. Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Traditions (1901). Chesnutt wrote his novel to reflect his opinions on how African Americans should act to improve their situation. To situate the study within the historical and cultural context of Marrow, Black intellectuals’ views, namely Washington and Du Bois, about the complicated problem of ‘color’ were explored. To analyze the contrasting views and actions of Chesnutt’s black characters, the paper uses the lens of postcolonial theory. Although Marrow is not set within a colonial context, postcolonial theoretical frameworks can be used as models to re-read this novel because they deal with intersections of races, classes, cultures, and the oppressor/ oppressed relationship. The paper concludes that Chesnutt has entertained the possibility of a hybrid or third race— as referred to within postcolonial framework—that may succeed where both races (pure white and black) have failed.
Keywords: Bhabha, hybridity, mulatto, postcolonial theory, racism, The Marrow of Traditions, violence
Cite as: Ithawi, H. N. H. (2021). Violence/Accommodation Binary in Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition.
Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 5 (2). 49-61
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