Patterns of healing and wholeness in characterizations of women by selected black women writers

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dc.contributor.advisor Koontz, Tom en_US Adams, Brenda Byrne en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n-us--- en_US 2011-06-03T19:22:17Z 2011-06-03T19:22:17Z 1989 en_US 1989
dc.identifier LD2489.Z68 1989 .A3 en_US
dc.description.abstract Some Black women writers--Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Cade Bambara, Paule Marshall, Gloria Naylor, and Alice Walker--of American fiction have written characterizations of winning women. Their characterizations include women who are capable of taking risks, making choices, and taking responsiblity for their choices. These winning women are capable of accepting their own successes and failures by the conclusions of the novels. They are characterized as dealing with devastating and traumatic personal histories in a growth-enhancing manner. Characterizations of winning women by these authors are consistently revealed through five developmental stages: conditioning, awareness, interiorizing, reintegrating, and winning. These stages contain patterns that are consistent from author to author.While conditioning and awareness of the negative influcences of conditioning are predictable, this study introduces the concept of interiorizing and reintegrating as positive steps toward becoming a winning woman. Frequent descriptions of numbness and disorientation mark the most obvious stages of interiorizing. It is not until the Twentieth Century that we see women writers using this interiorizing process as a necessary step toward growth. Surviving interiorizing, as these winning women do, leads to the essential stage of reintegrating.Interiorizing is a complete separation from social interaction; reintegrating is a gradual reattachment to social process. First, elaborate descriptions of bathing rituals affirm the importance of a woman's body to herself. Second, reintegrating involves food rituals which signal social reconnection. Celebration banquets and family recipes offer an important reminder to the winning woman that the future is built on the past. Taking the best of what has been learned from the past into the future provides strength and stability.The characterization of a winning woman stops with potential rather than completion. A winning woman must still take risks, make choices, and bear the consequences of her choices. The winning woman does not accept a diminished life of harmful conformity. She is characterized as discovering how to use choice and power. Novels included in this study are: Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Are Watching God; Toni Cade Bambara's The Salt Eaters; Paule Marshall's Brownstone, Brown Girl; The Chosen Place, the Timeless People; and Praisesong for the Widow; Gloria Naylor's The Women of Brewster Place, Linden Hills; and Alice Walker's Meridian, and The Color Purple. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Department of English
dc.format.extent 290 leaves ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh African American women in literature. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh African American women authors en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Spiritual healing in literature. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Women and literature -- United States. en_US
dc.title Patterns of healing and wholeness in characterizations of women by selected black women writers en_US Thesis (Ph. D.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3134]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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