The African presence in the novels of Paule Marshall

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ETD Collection for AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library

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Rice, Angela Harrington
DigitalCommons@Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center
African American Studies; African Languages and Societies
thesis / dissertation description
The novels written by Paule Marshall are examined chronologically to demonstrate how Africa functions and is represented in her works. Published interviews and essays by Marshall are also examined, as well as critical analysis of her works by scholars. Africa is present in Paule Marshall's novels through ritual, history, language, and myth. Paule Marshall's work demonstrates how Africanisms operate in the United States and in the Caribbean. She articulates the need for people throughout the African diaspora to confront and use the past as a vehicle for empowerment. Marshall's protagonists are women who find that when they confront the past not only do they better understand themselves as African people, but they also gain greater awareness of their womanhood. Marshall's female protagonists discover that their African identity and their female identity are intertwined.