Gendered Selves Reconstruction in Alice Walker's The Color Purple and Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Blossom Shimayam Ottoh-Agede
2013 World Journal of English Language  
Research in diverse fields as anthropology, linguistics, psychology, sociology, history, literature, gender studies, and social theory, among others, has firmly established the fundamental role of society in the formation and establishment of gender identity, but fails to indicate the causative roles of individuals in constructing gender and self identity. Most gender scholars avoid the simple truth that gender roles are more of self ascription than societal. The society is not a person but
more » ... ot a person but persons who come together with a common language and culture. This paper explores the creation of self and gender identity in Alice Walker's The color purple and Maya Angelou's I know why the caged bird sings. The investigation pictures the ways Walker and Angelou negotiate, manipulate and reconstruct the Black-female identity. We discover that Walker and Angelou espouse a feminist and xenophobic approach to represent the female-story by portraying first, a treble victimization and then the subsequent victory of their Black-American female protagonists. The study attempts to show how their deployment of linguistic properties communicates the female self in a Black-American community and concludes that individuals are the architects of their lives. We adopt the [Feminist] Standpoint and Social Identity theories for analysis of texts.
doi:10.5430/wjel.v3n2p22 fatcat:pvmkdp5opzh2rfgmo7gucnofje