Shades Of Love: Colorism As An Influence On Spousal Selection And Marriage In The Works Of Hurston, West, And Morrison
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentEnglish and Languages
ProgramMaster of Arts
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This thesis discusses the influence of colorism on black Americans' spousal selection and marriage as presented in the literary works of Zora Neale Hurston, Dorothy West, and Toni Morrison. These three twentieth century African American novelists illustrate the psychological, economical, and social consequences of colorism in marriage within their literature. The selected works include Hurston's “Sweat” (1926), Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934), Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937); West's “An Unimportant Man” (1928), The Living is Easy (1942), The Wedding (1995); and Morrison's The Bluest Eye (1970) and Song of Solomon (1977). Furthermore, this thesis uses a thematic approach of critical race theory and Jungian theory on marriage and personality development to analyze the corresponding themes of domestic violence and sexual deviance, including infidelity and incestuous rape, as consequences of colorism featured in each author's work.