International Academic Journal of Psychology and Educational Studies

  • ISSN 0000-0000

Concepts of Identity in Alice Walker's Major Novels in the Light of Post-Colonialism

Marjan Mirshojaei

Abstract: This paper is an attempt to show the concepts of identity in Meridian (1976), The Color Purple (1982), The Temple of My Familiar (1989) and Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992) by Alice Walker in the light of post-colonialism. She tries to reveal the position of Afro-American people in the contemporary world. The issues facing the African-American race in regards to their racial, national, and sexual identities seem innumerable. The multiplicity of the guidelines by which this race of people seeks to identify itself becomes an almost confusing jumble of multiple threads attempting to form one unified strand. Men and women within the race struggle with their identities, seeking to understand how to be men, women, American, Black, and a variety of other things at once while remaining true to their '' true selves." Through the examination of and battle with these continuously warring elements, the African-American race has defined and redefined the standards of "being Black." Among the greater debates and longlasting identity struggles lies the problem of gender. The researcher refers to gender as a problem in the same lines as DuBois when he suggested in The Souls of Black Folk (2007) the question "How does it feel to be a problem?" (DuBois 10) in regards to being Black and American. In the same way that being Black in an America dominated by Whites seems a problem and a strange experience, examining gender and the roles of the masculine and feminine becomes a problem within the confines of race. The question of "What does it mean to be Black?" becomes "What does it mean to be a Black man?" and "What does it mean to be a Black Woman?" The identity of Black and Blackness no longer encompasses the whole race. Men and women become members of two different camps, now battling for their own identities separate from their male and female counterparts.

Keywords: Post-colonial Criticism, Post-colonial Reading, Universalism, Metropolis

Page: 31-44

Volume 3, Issue 2, 2016