Friday, December 20, 2019

A Critical Review Of 1901 Pauline Hopkin s Hagar Daughter

In his critical review of 1901 Pauline Hopkin’s Hagar Daughter, Dr. Tuhkanen argues that this sentimental fiction piece is a narrative of passing in multiple respects. Tuhkanen’s analysis complicates passing’s conventional and simplistic discourse that singularly points to racial purity with his consideration of multi-level passing for national identity. He explores how racial passing is a complex juggling of the social markers that shape national identity. Dr. Tuhkanen draws attention to the nation’s denial of racial hybridity in Hagar’s Daughter: â€Å"The passing characters are isomorphic examples of the state of the Union. The nation itself is passing, unbeknownst to itself, as something else than it claims to be† (389). The twisted plot of Hagar’s Daughter’s mimics the jumbled nature of identity itself and the tangled nature of the racial society during the nineteenth century. While Tuhkanen looks in depth at passing as a network of multiple and perhaps disparate elements, the novel also clearly employs the trope of double to facilitate not only the plot but also undermine the nation’s promoting discourse of race as a black-white binary. Hopkins employs the doubleness of biological identity, inheritance, and racial caricatures throughout her novel to construct the novel’s commentary on passing as it pertains to the nation’s racial duality. Pauline Hopkins begins the story line twice, pre-Civil War and post-Civil War. It begins with a short historical analysis detailing

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