Fragmented Self and Negotiation of Identity in “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man”

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MeghalBhaskarrao Brahmbhatt, Dr Usha V. Kaushik


Slavery was abolished after the Civil War, but the Negro race still was not accepted as equals into American society. To attain a better understanding of the events and struggles faced during this period, one must take a look at its literature. James Weldon Johnson does an excellent job of vividly depicting an accurate portrait of the adversities faced before the Civil Rights Movement by the black community in his novel “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man.”The concerned paper is an inspection and an analysis of the novel “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man”. Johnson, in the novel, tries to bring to fore the predicament of a colored man who can pass as a white. The narrator remains unnamed and unidentified throughout the novel. Through the anonymous narrator the paper attempts to assess the idea of dual self and fragmentation of identity that the narrator experiences as a mulatto in the American white society. The narrator’s incapability to completely accept the white culture and to fully reject the black heritage is the focal point that the paper will venture to outline.

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