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Post-modernism in History and The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2010, 23(2), pp.139-164
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Cho Sook Hee 1

1중앙대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This essay examines Suzan Lori Parks’s The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World through the theory of post-modernism in history. It is well known that the majority of Parks’s drama deals with history. She usually takes a historical event and then tries to deconstruct it on the premise that the historical event was distorted by the powerful entity, especially that the history and narrative of black slaves in the past were subsided, erased, eliminated, and distorted so much by the whites. Parks’s skeptical and even negative attitude toward the written history of the blacks is similar to that of some historians who advocate the postmodern view for the history as a whole. The scholars argue that written records of history do not reflect “history proper” but reveal the “metahistory” which is nothing but a fiction made by the historians who were heavily influenced by their time and situation. When one investigates Parks’s play, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, with postmodern point of view, one can better understand Parks’s intention to display a chaotic and amorphous field on the stage, to deconstruct and rewrite the established version of history out of it, and to make the audience engaged in the process of rewriting the history of human beings--especially of the black people.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.