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Concept Of Double Consciousness In The Novel The Woman Of Color

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In the novel “The woman of color” by anonymous, edith by Professor Dominique, Olivia Fairfield is the main character and the heroine. Olivia is a child of a slaveholder, and she must move from Jamaica to England to get engaged to her white 1st cousin named Augustus which is a will of her father or else she becomes dependent on his mercenary sister in law and elder brother. Olivia had to decide on the two conflicting situations. As she is making her decision, she recounts the impressions of Britain together with its inhabitants as only a black woman could give a record of the impressions. She gives scornful descriptions of Bristol, British, and London and also the progressive slavery and racism. The novel gives an account of the life of a black heiress after the slavery in British was abolished. Olivia give inspiration to reader about double consciousness and how the protagonist uses it to empower herself and not disheartened or lost confidence.

Double Consciousness of Olivia is done in the novel at a crucial point because her marriage to Augustus placed her in a situation where she could demoralize stereotypes and racial assumptions in England. Coming from an “inferior race”(53). Placing Olivia's racialized body within the contexts of the white rich family poses a threat since the black female functions as the love interest of the white male. Olivia demonstrates double Consciousness since she is a black woman with confidence and integrity. Olivia conforms to the colonial stereotypes of the white and is now supporting racial equality. She is claiming that she has “nothing left to wish” and she is “quit at home”(105). After efforts of undermining racial stereotypes in the previous letters of Olivia, she changes her opinion, and the negative effects of Olivia representation as a wife to a white man are seen. She is mimicking those who are holding the social stereotypes and therefore, she cannot work for the deconstruction of the racial assumptions.

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There is a reaffirmation of the Double Consciousness of Olivia through her new location at New Park with her servant. After, “Olivia eventually marries and rents a house at New Park, ‘Dido is delighted’ because the new residence re-establishes both her and Olivia’s rank in England. This move socially elevates both women; they become the top females wife and housekeeper in an English upper-middle, merchant-class household”(105). The new position of Dido and Olivia in the white society is confirming the double Consciousness of Olivia this is because the new home located in England echoes the societal position and the home she had in her country Jamaica with her father. “dear Fairfeild estate”(105). A resonance exists between her earlier home in Jamaica and the new home located in England, and the situation shows the simultaneous identification of Olivia, both as a white woman and a mistress from the enslavers of the West Indian. Similarly, there is the development of a parallel double consciousness by Dido. Dido, who is a servant, develops double Consciousness through acceptance of her position, which is semi-enslaved in the new home of Olivia while simultaneously accepting that she is free in the new home in London. Dido is asserting that “Dido was never a slave but to her own dear Missee, and she was proud of that.'' Dido, similarly to Olivia, is oscillating between freedom and enslavement in her old home in Jamaica and currently in London’s new home. The situation is seen when the writer is arguing that the double Consciousness of the two characters is suggestive of their position because they are between the “racial Categories black and white” and, therefore, viewed as enslaved yet free. At this point, there is doubt about the letters of Olivia which regards her marriage with Augustus in terms of double Consciousness. Olivia is simultaneously dealing with her marriage and advocating racial equality goal. The continuation of the author to give reference to Olivia as swing between less than and greater than “half” shows her identity, instability, and predicts her marriage disintegration with Augustus. The woman of color” employs the use of various strategies in Olivia’s representation in an attempt of upsetting the traditional stereotypical ending for a mixed race woman. The main character Olivia, illustrates what is known as double consciousness space because of her tone which is in between and also the will of her father which make her move in the society of the white territory England.

The imitation of Olivia and her representation by the author are portrayed as double Consciousness. The representation of her wish is to show the white side of herself is an example of her imitation on the white woman. This is because she identifies herself as no less of a white woman than she is as a black woman. She is willing to be together with the white women and imitates their actions. The main character Olivia’s mimicry and the way the editor is giving a representation of her in the space is manifested in mind, and it is portrayed as double Consciousness. Here the authors representation of Olivia in the novel first half part as a “half”, which confirms the cultural intermixture and the doubleness of her Consciousness. Even Though Olivia tries to mimic the white woman, she still considered herself a English woman has her deceased father is English while she tries to embrace both cultures she is being stereotyped for her perfect English speaking “ You speak like a perfect English woman,” while continuing to say “I see have have imbibed our air” (111). Here Olivia defend her rights as a English woman and not as a mixed race, the double consciousness in her made her worthy of her title. Olivia Fairfeild is a resolute and she is determined to hold her place in her father's country where she admirable gain respect and approval without the stake of her happiness.

In conclusion, “The woman of color” novel use some literal strategies, for instance, the double Consciousness and mimicry that is effective in the text to give a demonstration that either less present or absent women of colour might be significant. There is a demonstration of double Consciousness through individuals such as servant Dido and the main character Olivia as they both tries to seek comfort in their double consciousness. Double Consciousness makes a person in an oppressed society have some comforting effects as it safeguard them from oppression. Olivia is a true definition of racial stereotype, Olivia was judged based on her colour and demeanor not as a woman. She portrayed a strong and intellectual personality and as used her belief to internalise all the negativity that was thrown at her and intern uses it and advocate for herself and her people. Double Consciousness is a social philosophy concept which refers to the original source of an inward twoness which is expireced putative by Africam because of oppression based on racism and dis-valuation in society in a society which dominated by white. It is describe an experience which conflicts internally, and it is felt in a society which oppressive by the subordinate group.

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Concept Of Double Consciousness In The Novel The Woman Of Color. (2021, September 13). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 4, 2023, from
“Concept Of Double Consciousness In The Novel The Woman Of Color.” Edubirdie, 13 Sept. 2021,
Concept Of Double Consciousness In The Novel The Woman Of Color. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 4 Dec. 2023].
Concept Of Double Consciousness In The Novel The Woman Of Color [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 13 [cited 2023 Dec 4]. Available from:
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