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Ideological Dissension and Conciliation in Three African American Novels of the 1980s

Quan Manh Ha, Boston Sullivan

Pages 53 - 73



This publication is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 4.0.

This article explores the intricate nexus among three African American novels of the 1980s: Alice Walker’s "The Color Purple", Ishmael Reed’s "Reckless Eyeballing", and Trey Ellis’s "Platitudes". Because these novels engage one another in an intellectual discourse, especially on issues relating to race, class, and gender, it is crucial to examine the Walker-Reed paradox and its reconciliation in Ellis’s Platitudes. Focused primarily on the literary tropes of satire and mimicry, each novel demonstrates its author’s intellectual ideology and stands as a manifesto on representations of Black people and culture in literature. "The Color Purple", "Reckless Eyeballing", and "Platitudes" all work in concert to reveal political conflicts that pit multiple factions of Black writers against one another, while attempting to suggest that it is heterogeneity and plurality that characterize the Black experience in African American literature of the post-civil rights period.

Key Words:Walker-Reed paradox; Black womanism; Black masculinity; literary peace-accord; the New Black Aesthetics

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