TitleThe suffocatingly narrow confines of Black masculinity and the blues prescription for escape in James Baldwin, Ernest Gaines, and August Wilson
NameWood, Tara K. (author), Green, Keith (chair), Singley, Carol (internal member), Rutgers University, Camden Graduate School,
Masculinity in literature,
African American men--Psychology,
Baldwin, James, 1924-1987--Criticism and interpretation,
Gaines, Ernest J., 1933---Criticism and interpretation,
Wilson, August--Criticism and interpretation,
Baldwin, James, 1924-1987. Another country--Characters,
Gaines, Ernest J., 1933---Lesson before dying.--Characters,
DescriptionThis thesis examines the effects of a confining, misrepresentative black masculinity and the possibilities for escaping it, as manifested in James Baldwin's Another Country (1962). It explores Baldwin's proposed blues prescription for escape as a process of self-discovery, shared experience, and recognition, and applies this model to the black male protagonists in Ernest Gaines's A Lesson Before Dying (1993) and August Wilson's Fences (1983). Through character analyses of Rufus Scott in Another Country, Grant Wiggins and Jefferson in A Lesson Before Dying, and Troy and Cory Maxson in Fences, I identify the causes of their figurative and (sometimes) literal imprisonment, the effects of that imprisonment, and the possibilities for breaking free. What is more, I suggest that Baldwin's proposed other country can be extended, not only to Gaines and Wilson, but to other twentieth century literature about black males as well. This study extends previous correlations between African American literature and black masculinity studies as found in the work of Keith Clark, Maurice Wallace, and Peter Caster by examining the process through which black males can renegotiate the constructions of their masculinity.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
CollectionCamden Graduate School Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.