Under The Spell of Amazon: Exploring the Structures of Race and Class in John Updike’s Novel Brazil (Published)
This paper is an attempt to examine how John Updike (1932-2009) a prominent American novelist, constructs in Brazil (1994) scenarios that reveal to his readers, moment by moment, the rich complexity of Brazilian race relations. I also seek to point out how Updike sets forth the complicated racial issues in modern-day Brazil through the hardships his two main characters, Tristão and Isabel, undergo. In a way, Updike seeks to identify parallel selves in individuals of other nations; individuals whom one would typically categorize as “Others”. The paper also discusses how Updike attempts to de-emphasize racial differences and suggests that humans are all connected to one another as mixed combinations of color. I argue that in a society where racial identities are not clearly definable and where miscegenation is commonplace, interracial unions are more easily accepted. Updike, however, sees that behind this admixture there is a bias linked to skin color and social class. Meanwhile, I argue that Updike’s text is stronger in his sense of place than his sense of people. In other words, though Updike poses the problems of race and identity, he falls short of that, because the main ideas of the novel—the questions of race and class—are never deeply explored or illuminated.
THE IMAGE OF THE AFRO-AMERICAN IN FENCES (1985) (Published)
August Wilson’s major concern is to sympathetically put on stage the black experience and thus to arouse the community’s awareness for such experience. His black characters are always in constant quest for self-realization and for an authentic identity. Consequently, focuses on encouraging the blacks to rediscover their identities and to maintain self-authentication. He believes that the only way for the African Americans to transcend the limited existence in white racist America is by recovering their Africanness; by recognizing and accepting their African roots. He is keen on reminding the African Americans of their cultural heritage and their identity that has been maintained for ages despite their painful sense of alienation and their separation from their African culture. To Wilson, the African culture and heritage should not be an element of inferiority; rather it must be an evidence of pride because Afro-Americans have their own cultural distinctions: they have their own customs, music, food, clothing, language, rituals of marriage and funerals which are different from the whites’. Thus, he gives a complete record of the black world and culture, and urges, moreover, blacks to be proud of their distinct cultural heritage.
AN EXAMINATION OF MULTICULTURALISM AND RACISM IN EDGAR MITTELHOLZER’S A MORNING AT THE OFFICE (Published)
This paper is examines Mittelholzer’s depiction of the multicultural and multiracial character of the West Indies in his novel, A Morning at the Office. It unfolds that the West Indies is inhabited by various peoples, from different parts of the globe and who had no indigenous link or ancestral claim on the islands. The paper further traces the roots of this multiculturalism in the West Indies and how it has engendered racism to the various colonial ideological onslaughts on the Islands, the importation of millions of African captives as well as the presence of Chinese and East Indians who served as planters and overseers on the newly established mines and plantation. Indeed, it is this conglomerate of peoples with diverse cultures that has made the Islands to be described as “A Stew Pot’. It is the submission of this paper that in a multicultural society, the issues of racism and racial segregation abound. The paper particularly uses Edgar Mittelholzer’s A Morning at the Office to project this view. At the end it asserts that the West Indies can only maintain its genuine national identity if all racial barriers are removed and the various races learn to appreciate the cultural and racial diversities of the Islands without prejudice to skin pigmentation.
Discriminatory policy Among the Undergraduate Students to the Nature and scope to The Guide for College Teaching Approach (Review Completed - Accepted)
This paper addresses racism and white privilege in America. Racism is generally discriminatory policy and behavior aimed at oppressing nonwhites whereas white privilege is the advantage gained by whites that is not due to ability or merit. It is argued that white privilege is largely invisible and that this allows the current unacceptable status quo to continue. A survey of items is offered as a tool to be used by college teachers to sensitize students to the nature and effects of white privilege.