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Alice Walker and the Grotesque in The Third Life of Grange Copeland
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Communication.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay examines the uses of the grotesque in Alice Walker’s novel The Third Life of Grange Copeland. Published in 1970 the novel has been subject to various readings by diverse scholars. However, previous research has failed to take into account the displays of the grotesque in the novel. This essay argues that not only does Walker use the grotesque prominently throughout the novel, but also that Walker constructs an intricate critique of U.S. society through her depictions of the grotesque. Resting largely on the theoretical perspective of Mikhail Bakhtin this essay examines the following grotesque images: the female spectacle, the female adolescent, the hysteric, pregnant death, monstrosity, and whiteness. By exposing Walker’s uses of the grotesque, this essay offers an analysis that exposes the relationship between Walker’s grotesque images and her womanist objective. The aim of The Third Life of Grange Copeland is to critique the oppressive regimes of patriarchy and U.S. white supremacist culture and society. It is argued here, then, that the grotesque is strategically used in different manners when addressing womanist and racial issues. Walker uses the grotesque in order to alter confining gender binaries and expose and criticize the destructive aspects of patriarchal and white supremacist ideologies. Through her narrative and the diverse characters of The Third Life, Walker exposes the repercussions of oppressive white supremacist and patriarchal orders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 36 p.
Keyword [en]
Alice Walker, grotesque, whiteness, womanism, Bakhtin, racism, US South
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-16594OAI: diva2:535871
Subject / course
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-07-10 Created: 2012-06-20 Last updated: 2012-07-10Bibliographically approved

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