Dorothy Allison dans Cycnos


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Cycnos | Volume 28 n° Spécial

Le rejet de l’Autre chez Dorothy Allison : de la marginalisation au refus d’intégration

This essay proposes to explore the strategies used by the American novelist Dorothy Allison to represent the white trash individual, constantly subjected to seemingly implacable social forces, norms, and codes of representation. Allison illustrates the way social and racial norms complicate class relationships in the Deep South, and denounces the setting up of an unbearable social hierarchy which justifies the exclusion of a monstrous white sub-group, the white trash, made Other within the dominant white group. The author elaborates for her white trash characters a marginal “space of abjection”, a space of quarantine which aims at preserving the purity of the white, “clean” group. However, the deviant, rejected subject may also choose marginalization, make difference and deviance positive qualities and refuse to try to fit in and satisfy the norms. The victim of a form of class-motivated racism, Allison reveals how verbal violence and stereotyped representations situate the white trash at a crossroads between races and classes, neither white nor black, neither privileged nor completely destitute. This status as ontological aberration is, however, taken on deliberately, claimed and celebrated by the white trash child who tries to make sense of her identity and reclaim a sense of pride..

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