Date of Award
Honors Thesis (Colby Access Only)
Colby College. English Dept.
This thesis project combines literary scholarship with creative non-fiction. Through divulging my own experiences reading literature as a white female, I ask if, how, and to what extent an individual's racial ideology affects her understanding of the literature she reads. I focus on the "biased white reader," a rough sketch that derives mostly from what I have observed about my own racial biases and also from what I have read about how modem-day white Americans, collectively and individually, construct racial ideology. Using the profile of the "biased white reader" as a starting point, I approach Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson and Toni Morrison's Beloved in order to interrogate the extent to which white biases prevent the reader from engaging with the imaginative texts of Twain and Morrison and the extent to which each novel may be transformative by offering to the reader insights about and/or revisions to her racial biases.
bias, race, interpretation
Recommended CitationHawkins, Catherine W., "The Biased White Reader: Reading, Revisiting, and Revising Racial Identity through Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson and Toni Morrison’s Beloved" (2011). Honors Theses. Paper 1122.
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