Graduation Date

5-2021

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Emphasis

English

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Program Name

Humanities

Program Director

Judy Halebsky, PhD

First Reader

Thomas Burke, MFA

Second Reader

Amy Wong, PhD

Abstract

This thesis explores the post-colonial notion of the Other as an iteration of the broader cultural tendency to make meaning via binary opposition. The study of Wide Sargasso Sea, Infidels, and At Swim Two Boys reveals the connective thread of empire and subjugation that transcends time and place. Furthermore, I examine the various attempts of characters to resist this reality by creating an alternate space within the dominant culture. My interest lies in exploring the ways in which various markers of identity form the “self,” and consequently how characters attempt to gain agency and fully realize identity despite marginalization and disenfranchisement. Examining the various modes of Othering necessarily expands the project into a consideration of larger questions of subjugation based on race, class, gender, and sexuality. As this study reveals, the quest for identity and agency amid a culture of repression remains a timeless struggle.

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