Race, Gender and the Vernacular in the Works of African American and Mexican American Women Authors
GRIN Verlag, 2011 - 116 pages
Thesis (M.A.) from the year 2009 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,3, University of Freiburg (Englisches Seminar II), language: English, abstract: In this paper, it shall be examined how African American and Mexican American women writers have both developed highly innovative narrative strategies in order to establish their literary voice in which to express their experiences of being women belonging to an ethnic minority. Rather than attempting a direct comparison between the works of African and Mexican American women writers, I shall focus on the methods writers of both ethnicities have used in order to establish two separate literary traditions of female expression. My observations shall be based on texts by Zora Neale Hurston and Sandra Cisneros. Despite the fact that the works were written decades apart and thus also mirror major differences in the social and cultural development of the US, I will show that it is possible to draw significant parallels between them. Besides, the different contemporary reception of their work can be considered an indication of how much the American literary canon has changed in the last decades of the 20th century. Gender and race are important aspects in the works of both African American and Mexican American writers. Women writers of these two ethnicities have used different narrative devices to depict the themes of marginalization and discrimination, as well as issues of racial, sexual and artistic empowerment of women. The transgression of traditional gender roles and the questioning of gender boundaries and categories are a vital part of their works. The quest for a collective identity is another frequent theme in the works of African American and Mexican American women writers. However, as is to be shown in this paper, the treatment of this topic can be considered one of the most crucial difference markers between African American and Mexican America
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African American identity Alice Walker Anzaldúa artist aspects Bien Pretty black women Cake's Carmen characters Chicana authors Chicana women Clemencia Cleófilas code-switching considered critics culture dreams Eatonville emphasis added Esperanza Everglades expression Eyes Were Watching Ezili fairytale female agency feminist Flavio folklore free indirect discourse gender roles gender stereotypes genre girls Guadalupe Harlem Renaissance heroine House on Mango husband Janie's Joe Starks Killicks La Llorona La Malinche Lamothe Langston Hughes language literary literature live Llorona Lupe male Malinche Mango Street marriage Marry A Mexican metaphor Mexican American Mexican American women Mexico mother mule Nanny Nanny's narration narrative Negro novel opera perceives perspective poetry political porch poverty protagonist quest race racial Rafaela represents Saldívar Sally Sandra Cisneros sexuality Spanish speech story subtext Tea Cake telenovelas theme traditional gender roles Tristán vernacular vignette voice Voodoo wanted Woman Hollering Creek Zora Neale Hurston