Date of Award

5-10-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Tanya Caldwell

Second Advisor

Dr. Randy Malamud

Third Advisor

Dr. Jay Rajiva

Abstract

Subjectivity in memoir allows room for the manipulation of identity and the reflection of how one’s identity has been manipulated. When breaches of human dignity occur, the discourse of trauma becomes an integral part of one’s identity. How then does socioeconomic background integrate with the traumatized self? Looking at the Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov as an example of a male, upper-class, immigrant memoir in relation to immigrant memoirs of different socioeconomic classes, like Wole Soyinka's You Must Set Forth at Dawn: A Memoir and Edwidge Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying, the implicit and explicit expressions of trauma within each author’s narrative and the emphasis of certain content, like grammatical and narrative structure, tone and transitions often correlate to each author’s background. As classes continue to divide, this analysis begins a conversation of how socioeconomic ideals become ingrained in the writer’s positioning of self, though the human rights narrative remains universal.

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