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Representation of Women in the Color Purple and Native Son

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The scope of the study is concerned about the Representation of Women in the Color Purle and Native Son in the African American Literature. The study is limited to the representation of African American women in Native son and the colour purple. The time that the researcher has to conduct this research is so limited. Therefore, the study will be limited to 2 novels “Native son and The Colour purple. This would have been more enhanced and wider if more literary works or novels were examined. Another limitation is the access to electronic materials which may be relevant to the study. Some would need to be paid for access to be granted, others in relation to African American portrayal in the Colour purple and the Native son may not be accessible or may no longer exist considering the period when these two novels were published.

Research methodology

The study will adopt a phenomenological research design where deep inductive, qualitative methods are used in framing up the research methods. Phenomenology is research that produces and analyses descriptive data, such as written or spoken words and observational behaviour of people (Taylor and Bogdan, 1984). This research method refers to a method of research interested in the meaning and observation of a social phenomenon in a natural environment. It deals with data that are difficult to quantify. It does not reject numbers or statistics but just does not give them first place. The researcher is interested in knowing the factors conditioning a certain aspect of the behaviour of the social actor put in contact with a reality. It uses an interpretive model where the focus is on the processes that develop within the actors (here, we are interested in the meanings that the actor attributes to his environment as well as to these interpretations). Life history collections have been gaining interest in the social sciences since the 1970s. It can be defined according to Chalifoux (1992) as a narrative that tells the story of a person’s life experience. It’s actually a personal work and autobiographical.

The method that will be used for this study is historical and literary analysis in articles, books (The native by Richard Wright and The Colour Purple) and journals that describe the case of Representation of women in the African-American Literature. For this review the researcher intend to analyse 30 articles including books through a two-step analysis, combining concept matrices. The researcher will be able to also perform theoretical analysis into the black feminism theory, and a study of the themes of gender, regulatory offence of black ladies by the whites, the intersectionality of race, class, gender and, oppression of black ladies.

Definitions of Key Terms

Representation: The shorter oxford English Dictionary suggests two relevant meanings for the word: Representation means to describe or depict something, to call it up in the mind by description or portrayal or imagination, it also means to place the likeness of it before us in our minds or in the senses. As for example in these sentences.

African American literature: body of literature written by Americans of African descent. Beginning in the pre-revolutionary War period, African American writers have engaged in a creative, if often contentious, dialogue with American letters. The result is a literature rich in expressive subtlety and social insight, offering illuminating assessments of American identities and history. Although since 1970 African American writers, led by Toni Morrison, have earned widespread critical acclaim, this literature has been recognized internationally as well as nationally since its inception in the late 18th century (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

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Portrayal: the other word to mean Representation.

Character: a person who plays a certain role in the novel.

Women: both the Mariam- Webster and the Oxford Living dictionaries define a woman as “An adult human female”.

Native son: According to the, Native Son is a person born in a particular or certain place. In the context of this research, Native Son (1940) refers to the novel by African-American author Richard Wright about a young black man whose life is dep stroyed by poverty and racism.

The Colour Purple is the most powerful wavelength of the rainbow. In the context of the research it refers to the 1982 epistolary novel by an American female author Alice Walker portraying the of African-American women in the Southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture.


The introductory chapter lays down the background of the study, justification, and the research objectives, outlining the research questions and assumptions, and then defining terms as applied in the study. The importance of the chapter is that it draws a road-map for the research and it defines the course of the entire research project. The next chapter reviews the literature on women representations in the African American literature and it will address ideas from different scholars concerning Black Feminism in relation to the Representation of women in the African American Literature.

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Representation of Women in the Color Purple and Native Son. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 30, 2023, from
“Representation of Women in the Color Purple and Native Son.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022,
Representation of Women in the Color Purple and Native Son. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 May 2023].
Representation of Women in the Color Purple and Native Son [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 27 [cited 2023 May 30]. Available from:
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