This is her century : a study of Margaret Walker’s work
thesisposted on 14.12.2011, 13:39 by Doaa AbdelHafez Hamada
This thesis is a study of the works of Margaret Walker (1915-1998) in a chronological order in the social and intellectual context of twentieth century America. Material presented in this study is based on research on available criticism published on Walker’s work. It is also based on research on the social, intellectual, and political aspects of twentieth century America. This thesis also incorporates information derived from the researcher’s close reading of Walker’s work. It argues that issues of race, gender, and class are always connected in twentieth century America and in Walker’s work as reflective of this century in America. It also argues that Walker’s feminist consciousness develops from one work to another until it reaches its peak in her later poetry. Chapter one investigates Walker’s literary heritage to understand the factors that shaped her creativity and contributed to the formation of her voice as a writer. It examines how far she was influenced by white and black literary traditions in her writings. Chapter two approaches Walker’s early poetry, represented in For My People (1942) in the context of 1930s and 1940s America. This volume is discussed in relation to Communism and Marxist thought to know how far Walker fell under their influence during that time. Chapter three examines Walker’s next publication, Jubilee (1966) in the context of 1950s and 1960s America. It focuses specifically on the Civil Rights Movement and how Walker’s novel reflects on its events and main debates. Chapter Four explores Walker’s later poetry: Prophets for a New Day (1970), October Journey (1973), Farish Street (1986), and This Is My Century (1989) in relation to 1970s and 1980s America. It explores how far these works show the influence of the Women’s Movement and Black Feminism on Walker’s perceptions.