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The Bottom and The Orchard: Where Space and Place are Created, Controlled, and Maintained in Sula and “Récitatif”

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title
The Bottom and The Orchard: Where Space and Place are Created, Controlled, and Maintained in Sula and “Récitatif”
author
Anyabwile, Afiya
abstract
Sula (1973) and “Récitatif” (1983) take place well after slavery and at the end of segregation, in the 1940s and 1970s respectively, but both texts are interested in racial order in their own way. The texts also share several narrative resonances, both in their discussion of female friendship and their interest in trauma. In this paper I answer two questions: How do space/place, and (im)mobility within space/place, reflect the characters’ identity, fears, and desires? And how are their interactions with space/place shaped by social relations like race and gender? I argue that while “Récitatif” depicts how space and place are controlled and claimed, Sula depicts how space and place are created and maintained. Ultimately I will conclude by discussing Morrison’s own thoughts on the relationship between space, place, and social relations, in order to answer the question, Why do places get taken with us, and continue to affect us, even long after we’ve left them? This analysis will prove space and place, and race and gender, to be palimpsestic: two shades of ink on the same document; two layers of paint on the same canvas.
contributor
Brown, Chris (advisor)
Franco, Dean (committee member)
Benjamin, Shanna (committee member)
date
2024-05-23T08:36:16Z (accessioned)
2024-05-23T08:36:16Z (available)
2024 (issued)
degree
English (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/109430 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
type
Thesis

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