Publication Date

2005

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Self, Robert T., 1941-

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Department

Department of English

LCSH

Morrison, Toni. Beloved--Criticism and interpretation||Religion in literature||Ghosts in literature

Abstract

For over one hundred years, African American scholars have sought many means to analyze texts within the African American community. From W.E.B. Dubois's innovative "double consciousness" theory in Souls of Black Folks (1903) to Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s ground-breaking signifyin(g) theory of the Black vernacular tradition in The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism (1988), theories have been developed to address changing literary trends in African-American literature. While these studies have been invaluable to the field of African American criticism, the purpose of this study is to add to the body of knowledge by offering an alternate approach for the interpretation of African American ethnographic creative works that is applicable to literature and film adaptations. Beyond reading notes, glossaries, and language analyses, the study offers an interdisciplinary method, which is a holistic reflection of the culture. This purpose is threefold: (1) to establish the nomenclature of the African American Cultural Language (AACL) as a more suitable interpretive term for ethnographic creations and culture classification, (2) to establish the AACL theory and model in which a matrix is designed as an interdisciplinary guide for ethnographic texts, and (3) to analyze Beloved and the film adaptation by the AACL matrix. The AACL theory postulates that the African American Cultural Language is an art form that was created as a consequence of slavery and the African American Experience; as such, its components of language, history, ideology, rhetoric, and aesthetics can be delineated to offer a method to analyze African American ethnographic texts in an interdisciplinary manner. Just as anthologies provide reading notes for Milton, Chaucer, and Shakespeare's language and literature, 400 years removed from the origin for audiences to glean meaning, the AACL theory and matrix serves as a blueprint to look inside the African-American culture. This study not only provides an analysis of Beloved but also offers further applications for the study and analyses of ethnographic African American literature and film.

Comments

Includes bibliographical references (pages 380-391).

Extent

xlix, 416 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

Share

COinS