THE DISCOURSE OF IMPOSED IDENTITY IN ISIDORE OKPEWHO’S CALL ME BY MY RIGHTFUL NAME AND RICHARD WRIGHT’S NATIVE SON

THE DISCOURSE OF IMPOSED IDENTITY IN ISIDORE OKPEWHO’S CALL ME BY MY RIGHTFUL NAME AND RICHARD WRIGHT’S NATIVE SON

ABSTRACT

Identity studies in African-American literature, over time, have depicted the interaction between black and white Americans and the connectedness of black Americans to their root. This study has explored the theme of identity as influenced by the milieu to represent the place of African-Americans within the larger American society in relation to racism, segregation, culture, migration and social equality. However, mogst of the analyses of the theme of identity in African-American studies have examined identity either in relation to racism or as a reconnection to the African root. This study analyzes identity from another dimension. It explores identity as an inevitable imposition, an obligation made on the individual by forces, societal or supernatural, which are beyond their control and from which they have no power of escape, thus, making the individual a pharmakos of a destined self. In analyzing Isidore Okpewho’s Call Me By My Rightful Name and Richard Wright’s Native Son, this study, therefore, based on discourse analysis and identity theory, sets out to investigate how social structures impact on the structures of self, and the internal dynamics of self-processes as these impact on social behavior in the micro and macro units of action within the texts and its representation in language.