Dorothy West's Re-imagining of the Migration Narrative
Harper, Alexis V.
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This thesis explores Dorothy West's interpretation of the migration experience through her novel The Living is Easy. Dorothy West breaks new ground by documenting a Black female migrant's sojourn from South to North in an era in which such narratives were virtually non-existent. West seemingly rejects both a separation between North and South as well any sentiment of condemning the North or South in totality. Instead, West chooses to settle her novel in a gray area. Moreover, in refusing to condemn the South, Dorothy West redeems the South from oversimplified negative assumptions of the region. My interpretation of Dorothy West's The Living is Easy as well as Cleo Judson both highlights West's contributions to the genre by complicating the assumptions of what a migration narrative contains by centering the migrating Black female body.
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