(M)otherhood : the mother symbol in postcolonial francophone literature from West Africa and the Caribbean
French colonial regimes in West Africa and the Caribbean left the diverse populations fragmented without a central set of cultural values to unify them. The search for identity permeates postcolonial francophone literature with the mother symbol at its center. Coinciding with popular ideologies, the portrayal of motherhood has evolved from the source of ancient roots in traditional African society to the enterprise of the future by cultivating their own mores. By analyzing the mother symbol in a variety of texts from West Africa and the Caribbean and by situating them in their historical and social context, I will assess the role of the mother in the quest for a new identity. The earlier works written by male authors in the l 940s and 1950s tend to associate the mother figure with nostalgia for the native land and tradition, and gave her stereotypical characterizations of femininity such as docility, smothering sentimentality, and dependence. The more contemporary works show mothering outside of the conventional practices, especially the female authors who include a variety of mother figures in their texts in an attempt to dispel repressive definitions. Nevertheless, all of the literary works in the study equate mothering with a prospect of hope.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Glenn, Brittany Austin, "(M)otherhood : the mother symbol in postcolonial francophone literature from West Africa and the Caribbean" (2008). HIM 1990-2015. 722.