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A comparative analysis of sense of belonging as a part of identity of the colonizer and the colonized in the grass is singing and my place

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2010
Göktan, Cansu
This thesis investigates how two loosely autobiographical works unveil the effects of colonization on their major characters in terms of their identities and senses of belonging. The Grass Is Singing by Doris Lessing, a second-generation member of the colonizer, and My Place by Sally Morgan, a third-generation hybrid Australian Aborigine, are selected because both novels essentially deal with colonial issues by depicting their major characters in a process of maturation within a colonial and post-colonial framework, the former using a semi-autobiographical narrative tone and the latter using an Aboriginal version of autobiography, which integrates oral tradition and storytelling. These two books reveal that a sense of identity is closely related to a sense of belonging and that both are fundamentally affected by the colonial situation. The effects of a sense of identity and a sense of belonging, which boil down to the demise or survival of the individual, interacts with family and society, physical environment, and race issues that the thesis investigates by dedicating a chapter to each. The method used in this point-by-point comparative analysis is to approach the issues of sense of belonging and identity in a colonial context with a close reading of the two works, to find out what the texts say for themselves regarding the effect of family and society, environment, and race as depicted in The Grass Is Singing and My Place. The theoretical background that is most relevant to this study is post-colonial literary theory, although here it is taken as secondary to the close reading that is the thesis’s primary approach to these works. Keywords: Doris Lessing The Grass Is Singing, Sally Morgan My Place, Colonial and Post-colonial Literature