Pocahontas's daughters: gender and ethnicity in American culture
When Pocahontas, America's first "ethnic" heroine, laid her head over John Smith's to save him from her father, she also unknowingly lay down certain themes that would permeate America's female ethnic literary tradition and culture from that moment on. Using the figure of Pocahontas as a representative symbol or story in the American cultural imagination, this is the first study to examine American women's fiction--from Our Nig by Mrs. H.E.W. Wilson, the first novel by a black woman, to the writings of Anzia Yezierska, Gertrude Stein, and Toni Morrison--in terms of gender and ethnicity, terms that Dearborn finds essential to our understanding of American culture. Pocahontas left no "authentic" written record of herself, a fact that Dearborn uses to launch her wide-ranging discussion of the problems of authenticity, authority, and genre that plague the ethnic female literary tradition. She then goes on to consider the various elements of the Pocahontas story, such as generational conflict, renunciation of one's ethnic origins, and intermarriage, that resurface in American women's fiction as dominant ethnic themes in American culture. Finally, Dearborn suggests that American women writers, in taking ethnicity as an integral part of the American identity, can perhaps best portray what it has meant to be a woman and an outsider in American culture.
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Gender and Ethnicity in American Culture
Strategies of Authorship in American Ethnic Womens
Black Women Authors and the Harlem Renaissance
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Afro-American Alain Locke ambivalence Ameri American culture American ethnic American identity American Indian ancestry Anzia Yezierska argues black women black writers blood Books Boston Bridgman chapter child CLAJ Cogewea complex concept critical daughter David Hersland Dewey discuss ethnic female authorship ethnic woman ethnic woman writer ethnic women's fiction fact Feminist folklore Frances Harper gender and ethnicity Gertrude Stein Harlem Renaissance Harper Helga hero heroine Hurston immigrant important incest Indian women inheritance insistence intermarriage Iola Leroy Jessie Fauset Jewish John language Larsen legend literary tradition living male marriage marry Martha Mary Antin McWhorter mediation melting-pot metaphor miscegenation mother Mourning Dove's mulatto Negro notion novel novelist Pauline Hopkins Pocahontas Pocahontas's Promised Land race relationship represents seems sense sexual Silko slave slavery story suggests taboo tion trickster University Press Werner Sollors women writers writing York Zora Neale Zora Neale Hurston
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