A Cultural Perspective on Identity Reconstruction of Afro-Americans in Tar Baby

LI LI, He-si WANG, Yu-qing LI


There are many difficulties for African Americans to define their identity. Culture is the main factor that puzzles them. This paper focuses on the cultural perspective to analyze the identity perplexity of African Americans. Living in the crevice of different cultures, in order to survive they should reshape their cultural identity to unify the black culture and white culture in one body. In Toni Morrison’s novel Tar Baby, two protagonists Jadine and Son’s opposite cultural views not only result in the failure of their love affair, but also cause their identity crisis. Actually, under the powerful impact of the mainstream discourse, many African Americans have lost themselves. In order to reconstruct their identity, African Americans should deconstruct the hegemony of dominant discourse and rebuild their confidence in their traditional culture.


Identity Crisis, Dominant culture, Afro-Americans, Tar Baby


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