Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

With their heads in the lion's mouth: Exploring the novels of Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison through social contract theory
by Gilmore, Kathy D., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2010, 85; 1490288
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the ways in which African American authors of the twentieth-century incorporate the language and principles of social contract theory into their writing as a means of seeking justice in American society. This study explores select novels of Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, and Ralph Ellison in conjunction with social contract theorists Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Charles Mills, and John Rawls. As these novelists challenge and point to the failures of our American social contract, they are also practicing these same principles to unite and give voice to an emerging African American community. By signifying on the very contracts of our American foundation these authors are not merely writing "protest" novels or "African American" novels that contribute to our American experience, they are revoicing the American experience.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Caron, Tim
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, American literature, Political science
Publication Number: 1490288
ISBN: 978-1-124-54635-3
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