Trauma, Violence and Racism in Toni MorriosonˈsThe Bluest Eye (1970) and Buchi Emechetaˈs Second-Class Citizen (1974)

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university Mouloud Mammeri of Tizi-Ouzou


The present dissertation aims at analyzing the issues of racism and otherness, embodied in trauma and violence, in both Toni Morrison's novel The Bluest Eye, published in 1970 and Buchi Emecheta's Second-Class citizen, 1974. It represents the lives of the Blacks in two different White communities, the American and the British one. We intend also to show the devastating effects of this relation based on privileging one race on the detriment of the other. To reach our aim, we have compared the two works relying on Albert Memmi's theory Racism, 2000. This study highlights the major effects of history and society in promoting racial and gender racism and otherness, and how due to differences the whites gained supremacy over the blacks. In addition, it underscores the negative outcomes of mostly gender and racial otherness on blacks in general, and black women in particular who suffer from double marginalization, which led them to experience an aggressive and oppressive life both in the white and black communities. This study closes by shedding light on the psychological trauma of black women, who endured a set of bad experiences and circumstances. Through our analysis ,we have came to the conclusion that both novels reveal that racism and otherness are social and historical constructs aimed at sustaining the Whitesˈ domination over the black race, and this domination has led to the creation of violent and aggressive behavior against the blacks who are conceived as being inferior. The second point we reached in this work is that the racism endured by the blacks reappeared within the black community itself .This domination of black women by black men caused harmful effects on black women who suffered from violence and trauma .





Comparative Literature