First and Last Name/s of Presenters

Jessica LewisFollow

Mentor/s

Dr. Richard M. Magee

Location

Panel A: UC 108

Start Day/Time

4-21-2017 11:00 AM

End Day/Time

4-21-2017 12:15 PM

Abstract

Throughout her novel, The Color Purple, Alice Walker investigates the notion of double discrimination. She points out that a woman’s gender is one of the contributing factors as to why she is discriminated against. Walker outlines race as an equally influential component of discrimination and with that, highlights both gender and race as a driving force behind an individual’s identity. Through her carefully constructed female characters, Walker successfully exposes how both gender and race act as a catalyst for oppression against African American women. The novel focuses on rigid gender and race-based stereotypes imposed by society on African American women in the early 20th century. Harsh categories constructed around differences act as a springboard for violence upon those perceived as inferior. African American women, who are viewed as subordinate because of both their gender and race, are more susceptible to experiencing trauma. Walker shows how the oppression and discrimination of gender and race is exhibited against African American women in various forms of physical and sexual traumatic events. Using the running theme of trauma, Walker shows how gender and race are the underlying causes of the suffering experienced by Celie, Sofia, and Squeak in Alice Walker’s, The Color Purple.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

College and Major available

English

Document Type

Essay

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Apr 21st, 11:00 AM Apr 21st, 12:15 PM

Double Discrimination: An Analysis of Gender and Race's Role in Trauma

Panel A: UC 108

Throughout her novel, The Color Purple, Alice Walker investigates the notion of double discrimination. She points out that a woman’s gender is one of the contributing factors as to why she is discriminated against. Walker outlines race as an equally influential component of discrimination and with that, highlights both gender and race as a driving force behind an individual’s identity. Through her carefully constructed female characters, Walker successfully exposes how both gender and race act as a catalyst for oppression against African American women. The novel focuses on rigid gender and race-based stereotypes imposed by society on African American women in the early 20th century. Harsh categories constructed around differences act as a springboard for violence upon those perceived as inferior. African American women, who are viewed as subordinate because of both their gender and race, are more susceptible to experiencing trauma. Walker shows how the oppression and discrimination of gender and race is exhibited against African American women in various forms of physical and sexual traumatic events. Using the running theme of trauma, Walker shows how gender and race are the underlying causes of the suffering experienced by Celie, Sofia, and Squeak in Alice Walker’s, The Color Purple.

 

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