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Another Part of Whiteness: A New Culture Beyond Left and Right

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2012, 25(2), pp.243-263
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Seung-hye Joo 1

1펜실베니아 인디애나대학교(Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Lillian Hellman as a major American playwright, screenwriter, and memoirist has been called “the institution of conscience” or icon of conscience by her private actions and public statements on socio-political issues. She consistently made statements for conscience and actions for what she believes in her plays and her life against the ideology of Whiteness and pseudo-patriotism/McCarthyism. Her heroines/heroes are Hellman’s portrayals of what it means to live a “noble life” and the attitude of her life. In this paper, I analyze the roots of her social conscience and responsibility that reveal her identity. Hellman reports and remembers people who have dreamed of a better world and who have been physically and psychologically wounded. Sara and Kurt Müller in Watch on the Rhine, the white heroine and hero as Hellman’s personae fight against whiteness. Through the analysis of the actions of Hellman’s personae, I discuss what fascism is and what is the identity of American/Americanism. The white author, Lillian Hellman’s heart is against whiteness, which is revealed in her life and written works. On the one hand, whiteness with color-coded multiple position has been used as a tool to analyze prejudice, discrimination, and obsession based on the conception of the color white and skin color. On the other hand, in socio-historical discourse, whiteness has been used with a similar meaning to the ideology of racism as a color-coded stratification in white dominated culture by the power of media and advertisers. Whiteness functions in culture and politics as being closely related to symbolized and racialized colors as an ideological trend. In her written works and life, Hellman stood against an oppressive institution of whiteness as an ideological trend.

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