Lois Tyson’s African-American theory elucidate color-line in popular fiction. Critical theory today is a standard yet literary analysis.
Critical Theory Today
William Faulkner’s novel “The Sound and the Fury” (1929), Augustus Wilson’s fiction “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone By” (1984) and Toni Morison’s “Beloved” (1987) uncovers the themes of race, depicting their relevance with critical theories of ‘African-American Criticism’ and ‘Postcolonial Criticism’.
The construction of blacks in the novels captures the realities of race relationship and racial bias influencing the lives of Africans in America.
The three novels consciously set the African-Americans past and their current living situations under the influence of race and inequalities. The critical theories explain how whites veiled blacks in the American society. The master discourse of the fictions highlights the marginalized black identity and colonial hegemony.
Lois Tyson & African American Critical Theory
Lois Tyson in his African American critical theory illustrates the social factors that promote racism. He views race as an unnatural phenomenon, created by people and the society. According to him, racism persists in America because it converges with the desires of white individuals or groups.
Interest convergence according to the African American Critical theory today identifies race as the product of whites desires to exploit black laborer. It involved different payoffs for the whites such as their desire to maintain superiority and paying low wages to the blacks.
These factors contributed to the black deprivations as it eliminated the chances of equal opportunities for them. The African American critical theory has the strong correlation with the method of social construct. It explains that race is a social issue relying on the assumptions of the people. The genetically or biological logic is missing in the construction of race, making it a more human-made phenomenon.
William Faulkner’s in “The Sound and the Fury” discusses the themes of race bias and segregation. The portrayal of the events of the plantation, cotton fields, and slavery exhibits the effect of African American history on the thoughts of the author.
Tyson in post-colonial criticism confirms the broader impact of the post-colonial period on the black and white writers. Faulkner explores the experiences of the South America and how it influenced the blacks who were treated as slaves. His fiction is the representation of the race-conscious southern world.
The character of Disley, a Negro woman is representing the perceptions of society regarding blacks. Critical theory today controls the mindsets of the white and black authors.
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone By
Augustus Wilson in his play “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone By” focuses on black experiences in racist society. He examines whiteness through black perspectives and how it controls their mindsets. The African American critical theory identifies the role of black author’s thoughts on his fiction.
The overall assessment of the fiction exhibits the connection of Wilson’s story with his perceptions of American culture. The critical theory today explains that racism is the outcome of experiences of black people in America.
It also explains that race is socially constructed. The perceptions and assumptions of the whites and blacks play a prominent role in the promotion of race and privileges. Racial identity and modern slavery in the fiction is conveyed by the main character Herald Loomis.
The search of Herald for his wife Martha is the search for his identity. He is the victim of slavery that becomes visible in his lost identity.
Themes of slavery are visible, “now he’s got you bound up to where you can’t sing your song. Joe Turner steals his song during plantation, exhibiting the insecurity and struggle for identity.
Throughout the story, the blacks fight for their status and recognition depicting the complexities of race and its influence on blacks.
Beloved & The Critical Theory Today
Morrison’s novel “Beloved” highlights the realities of a former black slave during period or reconstruction. The story uncovers the impact of slavery on the personality and lives of the blacks. The cultural patterns and history of slavery haunt the black woman throughout the story.
The post-colonial critical theory defines the role of Morrison in the portrayal of the black women as the story reveals her cultural connections with the system of oppression.
Through the character of Sethe, a black girl the author attempts to claim the how slavery remained prominent in lives of the black people. She conveys the theme of consistent struggles, alienation of the community and loss of self. The character of Sethe is the perfect depictions of black complexities that Africans experience under the influence of race.
African American Criticism
African American critical theory today explains the role of personal assumptions in various events created by Wilson in the story. The writing style of the black writers cannot be disconnected from their biased views of society. The attempt of the black writers exhibits their efforts to demand justice for the black community.
The black authors consider whiteness as a social privilege as they witness it as the central element of white socio-political power and dominance. Tyson in African American criticism explains how real events encourage the Africa American writers to display events of racial inequalities.
Post-colonial criticism explains how race influenced the people of indigenous cultures in America.
The African American critical theory today becomes visible in the creation of Sethe by Morrison as she associated blackness with shame. The author uses her assumptions to associate the color black with feelings of low self-worth and humiliation. The text reveals how to color line promotes emotions of helpless for the young girl. The theme of whiteness and beauty becomes more visible as Sethe becomes the victim of social stereotypes.
Her encounter with poverty, deprivation, and slavery influence her later life. Even after escaping slavery she is unable to get rid of the slavery thoughts that haunt her throughout the fiction. The hateful picture of the black slave woman displayed by Morrison reflects its relevance with African American critical theory.
The theory explains how cultural tensions controlled the thoughts of American for centuries becoming dominant in their allegiances and overlapping identities.
The confused feelings of Sethe and her insecurity is the result of past experiences. The black character exhibits string implications of racial belief as she believes that nothing belongs to her at the end because of her black color.
Faulkner throughout the story recreates the events that exhibit the harsh realities of Africans. The story conveys strong influence of race on the black people as Disley thinks it is the reality of every black to undergo similar experiences of pain and miseries.
The black color of Africans defines their fate, while they are unable to escape blackness. The African America criticism of Tyson is also prominent as the fiction associates the darkness with the helpless state of blacks.
The thoughts of Disley depict the influence of Faulkner’s approach towards a post-colonial era in which he recognizes black women as oppressed. The use of the black church is explained by the post-colonial criticism of Tyson confirming the role of native culture on author’s views. The author attempts to portray the oppression suffered by the woman during African American past.
Post-Colonial Critical Theory and Novel’s Analysis
The post-colonial critical theory remains visible throughout the fiction as Wilson illustrates the feelings of blacks associated with American culture. The novel portrays that the society is habitual of treating blacks as slaves. The end of slavery did not change the mindsets of the whites or blacks.
The Whites continued to assume blacks as the sons of slaves while blacks also reflect the profound role of slavery history. The traumatized feelings also connect the story with the post-colonial era.
The incidents of sharecropping, labor exploitation and slavery are all portrayal of racial segregation and inequalities.
The postcolonial connections of the black people convince them to believe that the central reason behind their struggles is their color. The personal thoughts of Sethe reveal the assumptions of blacks that whiteness is the key to success and happiness.
The feelings of inferiority that the black character exhibits in the story is also due to the role of past according to the postcolonial critical theory.
Tyson through Africa American criticism and post-colonial criticism explains the role of personal experiences and perceptions of authors on their fiction.
The reason for black authors to capture the events of race through literature was to uncover the need of blacks and provide more profound insights into the miseries encountered under themes of race and social inequalities.