The Quest for Identity through the Memory of Rape in Assia Djebar’s Fantasia and Toni Morrison’s Beloved

Fuad Jadan

Abstract


Rape indicates the highest level of victimization that is based on gender, race, and class. In addition to being devastating, it usually escapes representation as experience and memory. Therefore, this essay examines the quest for identity through the memory of rape in both texts, namely Fantasia and Beloved. It attempts to show how Assia Djebar and Toni Morrison unsilence rape and its memory, and how the sexual violence that is based on gender, race, and class victimizes the female sexuality, identity, and life. It also argues that rape is a racial and colonial force, a political tool used by the White colonizer as a means to destroy the collective identity of a people and to force it to succumb to the colonial and racial hegemony. It shows how women evade rape, and how they incur it. Ultimately, it argues that the memory of rape is the memory of silence.

 


Keywords


Memory, rape, identity, silence, Fantasia, Beloved.

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