Poster Session

Presenter Information

Madison DashnerFollow

Faculty Mentor(s)

Shannon Gilstrap

Campus

Gainesville

Proposal Type

Poster

Subject Area

English

Start Date

13-3-2020 12:00 PM

End Date

13-3-2020 1:00 PM

Description/Abstract

Du Bois’ idea of “double consciousness”details the theory of African American “twoness” in America. He argues that blacks throughout American history struggle with the idea of being both “black” and living in a society in which their oppression has been the foundation upon which the U.S. was founded upon. His concepts of life behind the veil of race and the resulting “the sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others," have become touchstones for thinking about race in America.

It is important to discuss Du Bois’ ideas of double consciousness by using the character of Calpurnia, the Finch’s maid, in To Kill a Mockingbird. The language used to describe Calpurnia lends itself to Du Bois’ theory perfectly; Scout, the daughter of Atticus Finch and the subsequent narrator of Lee’s story, depicts Calpurnia to her audience in an interesting way. Because of her naivety and immature understanding of a highly racialized society, she projects much of what she thinks about black society onto Calpurnia. Thus, Calpurnia’s sense of “twoness” derives not only from within herself, but from the idealized versions that the white people living in Maycomb have projected upon her. My research into double consciousness and its implications in TKAM adds to our understanding of race relations in one of America’s most beloved novels.

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Mar 13th, 12:00 PM Mar 13th, 1:00 PM

05. Double Consciousness in To Kill a Mockingbird

Du Bois’ idea of “double consciousness”details the theory of African American “twoness” in America. He argues that blacks throughout American history struggle with the idea of being both “black” and living in a society in which their oppression has been the foundation upon which the U.S. was founded upon. His concepts of life behind the veil of race and the resulting “the sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others," have become touchstones for thinking about race in America.

It is important to discuss Du Bois’ ideas of double consciousness by using the character of Calpurnia, the Finch’s maid, in To Kill a Mockingbird. The language used to describe Calpurnia lends itself to Du Bois’ theory perfectly; Scout, the daughter of Atticus Finch and the subsequent narrator of Lee’s story, depicts Calpurnia to her audience in an interesting way. Because of her naivety and immature understanding of a highly racialized society, she projects much of what she thinks about black society onto Calpurnia. Thus, Calpurnia’s sense of “twoness” derives not only from within herself, but from the idealized versions that the white people living in Maycomb have projected upon her. My research into double consciousness and its implications in TKAM adds to our understanding of race relations in one of America’s most beloved novels.