INTERSECTING OPPRESSION OF GENDER AND RACE IN TONI MORRISON’S THE BLUEST EYE AND GOD HELP THE CHILD

 Ari Nurhayati

Abstract


White domination in America can make white ideology of beauty spread and influence African-American society. Toni Morrison’s novels, The Bluest Eye and God Help the Child, depict such an issue although they have very different setting of time. This study attemps to uncover the intersecting oppression of race and gender in the novels and to explain how African-American women to cope with the oppression. This study is qualitative descriptive. The data source is Morrison’s novels The Bluest Eye and God Help the Child. The study has two findings. Firstly, African-American society experiences oppression as the impact of white beauty hegemony. The harmful oppression is the internalization of white beauty values. Holding such values makes African-American women inferior since their physical characteristics are far from the white ideal of beauty. Meanwhile, the hardest oppression is experienced by African-American women who have darker skin tone because they become the victims of oppression committed by African-American society who tends to consider them unequal. It reflects the complexity of intersecting oppression of gender and race experienced by African-American women. Secondly, self-consciousness is the main factor to release from the oppression. Without self-consciousness, African-American women can be trapped in values that deteriorate their self-pride of identity. 

Keywords: intersecting, oppression,  African-American,  women, self-consciousness

Keywords


intersection, oppression, black skin, white skin, beauty

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21831/ltr.v18i3.27796

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