The Purification Of The Folk Essay

The Purification Of The Folk Essay

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The purification of the folk in Quest is secondary to DuBois’ celebration of raw blackness. The black postlapsarian view, or view of the folk through western lens, and politics of respectability have clouded readers’ analysis. I contend that DuBois also presents a thriving folk culture. I will examine folk characters and elements’ transformations and stases.
Annotated Bibliography

Campbell, Jane. Mythic Black Fiction: The Transformation of History. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1986. Print.
Campbell, a professor of English at Purdue University Calumet and seminal author in the folk’s representation in Quest of the Silver Fleece, interrogates the folk’s transcendence, or ability to surpass limited bounds, and transfiguration, ability to re-present the past. Specifically, Campbell engages W.E.B. DuBois’s methods of “confront[ing] and transcend[ing] history” (65). However, her analysis is limited by assuming that the uneducated must be saved and changed (67). Campbell grounds her argument in the realms of politics of respectability and the genteel tradition, or uplift tradition that assumes black males should be educated and aristocratic. More still, Campbell explores old western mythology, like Jason, and new mythology that is needed to transfigure the black folk. I would like to look into alternative possibilities other than uplift and assimilation as ways to analyze the folk. I will look past the genteel tradition and present the raw elements of blackness.
Farland, Maria. "W. E. B. DuBois, Anthropometric Science, and the Limits of Racial Uplift." American Quarterly 58.4 (2006): 1017-1044. Print.
Farland, an associate professor of English at Fordham University, argues that W.E.B.’s switch from scie...


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...1865-1920. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2008. Web.
Schmidt, a professor of English Literature at Swarthmore College, presents Zora as a conflicted girl. I argue that Zora is not more conflicted than any other girl in the early 1900s and that DuBois did not aim to present her as a troubled soul but a searching soul. Additionally, Schmidt synthesizes “the views of black schools, northern philanthropy, and competing educational models” in Quest (195). Schmidt explores Zora’s agency in redefining all those areas that she frequented. Additionally, Schmidt contends that the swamp empowers Zora’s dreams and not necessarily the knowledge she received from school. I would like to further complicate Schmidt’s ideas about Zora and the swamp. I would like to search deeper into the Eastern values she learns from the swamp and her in her room with Mrs. Vanderpool.

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