Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

English

Major Professor

Dr. John Fleming.

Co-Major Professor

Dr. Gurleen Grewal

Keywords

Spaciality, Theory, Exclusion, African-American, Gender studies, African-american studies

Abstract

Toni Morrison's recovery of the African-American presence in her novels is uniquely tied to the space of the kitchen. The recovery of the African-American presence has been accomplished in various ways for various groups: historians, critics, authors, sociologists. They have named names, recalled incidents, and 'discovered' texts. Recovery has been accomplished by reconstructing culture through songs, storytelling, folklore and myth. Morrison establishes a connection between the space of the Garden that represents a white male empowered world in which African-American women have difficulty establishing power to a space of the kitchen where we see how well each character has been able to confront the public sphere (garden) and maintain her sense of self and a sense of empowerment. Each character's interiority is reflected in the activities and her relationship to the kitchen.

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