Title

Home is where the heart is : patterns of displacement in West Indian and Black American literature

Abstract

The element of the sense of home has long since been a leading issue in the literature of American immigrants. As the immigrant in the host country is restricted from creating niches to accommodate pre-existing cultural trends, the immigrant's reference to the mother county serves as an impetus to establishing an external "home." Thus, the immigrant may live in a host country indefinitely, meanwhile any emphasis on a "home" remains abroad. The nature of home is complex and appears compounded in light of the pre-literature of Black America and the West Indies. Here, the generational "immigrant" is, in actuality, a born citizen, yet, is obliged to look toward their ancestral country in claiming a homeland (many times unfamiliar). The following works; George Lamming's In the Castle of My Skin, Paule Marshall's Brown Girl, Brownstones, Richard Wright's Native Son, and finally, Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God exemplify the conditions affecting the generational "immigrant's" establishment of "home." Rejection by the host country initiates a feeling of exile. Exposed is the paradox that the immigrant searching for "home" is many times "homeless," as the immigrant finds neither ties to the ancestral homeland or to the host country. Closure to the immigrant's search is likely preceded by one's epiphany that "home" in a minority vs. majority-based culture is an internal one. This study, by comparing two minority groups whose ancestral country is Africa but who reside in different host countries, examines the awareness of race and the foundation of "home."

Notes

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Thesis Completion

1997

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Refoe, Annye L.

Degree

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

English

Degree Program

English Literature

Subjects

Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences

Format

Print

Identifier

DP0021476

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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