Date

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

English

First Adviser

Fifer, Elizabeth

Other advisers/committee members

Moglen, Seth; Keetley, Dawn; Krasas, Jacqueline

Abstract

This project examines how temporary, flexible community connections can improve women’s lives even after the conditions that bring them together are no longer in effect. Community’s power, as I argue, does not stem from creating a permanent congregation; rather, community can be effective in terms of its ability to create radical change for members within it even as the community itself remains in flux. As my analysis of Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf, Joyce Carol Oates, Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang, and Toni Morrison’s Paradise demonstrates, women’s communities, in particular, do not need to be permanent to significantly change lives for the better by empowering those involved to see themselves as something other than isolated and alone. Belonging to a community allows women to reject a marginalized status and instead see themselves as part of a collective; and as part of a whole, they are better able to recognize that their experiences deserve acknowledgement.

Available for download on Wednesday, June 01, 2022

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