Listening to Silence, Reading the Unwritten: Articulating the Voice of the Racial Other in White Male Discourse

Mooney, Laura Louise (2015) Listening to Silence, Reading the Unwritten: Articulating the Voice of the Racial Other in White Male Discourse. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (Full text available)

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Abstract

This thesis explores literary representations in white male discourse of the voices of the racial Other. Tracing a chronological development from colonial to postcolonial texts, it closely analyzes the wider political and ethical implications of these representations in Daniel Defoe’s "Robinson Crusoe", Joseph Conrad’s "Heart of Darkness", Albert Camus’ "L’Étranger" and ‘L’Hôte’, J.M. Coetzee’s "Foe" and "Disgrace", J.M.G. Le Clézio’s "Onitsha" and Cormac McCarthy’s "No Country for Old Men". At the core of my research is the question how can white male writers resist the dominance of Eurocentric consciousness and be a witness to the racial Other and articulate his/her voice without recourse to prejudice and stereotyping. The representation of the Other transitions from the anonymity of slavery in colonial texts to identified and identifiable individuals in postcolonial writings. Through these novels the impact of national Independence, freedom from racial oppression and immigration ? all legal expressions of freely articulated voice ? can be observed on the traditional colonial power relationship. As a consequence, dominated, silenced voices gradually develop into silent refusals of acquiescence that withhold information. The impact of such resistance is frequently paralleled by a crisis of male identity and the declining stature of the white male protagonists who suffer imprisonment, death, sickness, confusion or defeat, as gestures symbolic of the decline of white patriarchal systems and challenges to accepted concepts of identity, humanity, justice, good and evil. In a globalized world the category of the Other encourages us to think beyond the known and recognize the validity of ideologies that challenge the authority of our own.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Uncontrolled keywords: Other, race, slavery, cannibalism, colonialism, postcolonialism, indigenous native, binary opposition, Orientalism, subjugation, Algeria, South Africa, Mexican, outsider, identity, apartheid, immigration, diaspora, drugrunner, marginalized, multiethnic society, absolutism, autonomy, pidgin, patriarchal discourse, silence, mimicry, difference, Eurocentrism
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN865 Comparative Literature
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Comparative Literature
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2015 18:00 UTC
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2016 11:50 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/52388 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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