AWEJ Special Issue on Literature No.1, 2013                                                                              Pp.159-170

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African American Female Subjectivity: Reading Postcolonialism In Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye

Aspalila Shapii
College of Arts and Sciences, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)
Malaysia 

Faisal Lafee Alobeytha
College of Arts and Sciences, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)
Malaysia

Sharifah Fazliyaton Shaik Ismail
College of Arts and Sciences, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)
Malaysia 

 

Abstract

This article examines the subjectivity of the African American female in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. It aims to verify that the subjectivity of the African American female in fiction is somewhat relative.  It attempts to answer the following questions: What are the reasons behind the fluctuation of subjectivity in the character of African American women? How does the postcolonialism literary theory help in understanding the subjectivity that echoes this class of women? This article comes to the following findings: The subjectivity of the African American black female has been influenced by their black complexion, gender, discrimination, family, school and community. Not all of these women have been influenced passively by the aforementioned elements. The African American women have been exploited in a male dominated society, where white people are the final authority and arbiter of the social status of women. An African American woman seems to have been suffering since birth. The color of her complexion is the cause of her misery. Illiteracy, beggary, depression and sexual harassment are tied to her very existence. Morrison has succeeded in delivering a clear message relating to the black woman’s subjectivity; she enhances the concept of emancipation of soul and thought among the black community, besides the concept of women’s rights.

Keywords: African American female, Black woman, Postcolonialism. Subjectivity.

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Aspalila Shapii, PhD is a lecturer at College of Arts & Sciences, Universiti Utara Malaysia. She
has a doctorate degree from University of Leicester, an MA in ELT from University of Warwick
and B.Ed.TESL Degree from University of Malaya. Her research interests are ELT classroom
research; student-centred learning approaches and teacher reflections.