Date of Award

12-19-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Degree Program

English

Department

English

Major Professor

Gery, John R.O.

Second Advisor

Tuley, Laura

Third Advisor

Osundare, Olawaniyi

Abstract

This paper examines assimilation and double-consciousness in the poetry of Charles Simic, Marilyn Chin, and Susan Atefat-Peckham. Each of these three poets writes in English in an American setting but has a different heritage. Simic is a native Yugoslavian (Serbia) who fled Europe during WWII. Chin arrived in the U.S. from Hong Kong as a child, and Atefat-Peckham is a first-generation American raised by Iranian parents. Each of these poets expresses some degree of assimilation and double-consciousness (as described by various theorists including W.E.B. Du Bois and Werner Sollors, among others) through the form and content of their poetry. This paper compares the three poets' work, attempting to draw inferences on how double-consciousness and assimilation is expressed in their poems and to what degree. This study argues that Simic is the least assimilated (as his poetry portrays the most severe double-consciousness), Chin is in-between and Atefat-Peckham the most assimilated.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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