Constructing dialogue, constructing identites : mixed heritage identity construction in half and half
Sorokin, Anissa Jane.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2009.; Includes bibliographical references. This paper examines how mixed heritage authors featured in the book Half and Half use constructed dialogue, also known as reported speech, to construct their identities as bi-ethnic, bi-racial, and bi-cultural individuals. Constructed dialogue, which is often representative of previous social interactions, functions frequently as a tool for identity construction in a literary form, strongly suggesting that mixed heritage identity is in many ways formed through talk. Through constructed dialogue, narrators can explain how what was said has contributed to who they feel they are, and often allows them to portray themselves as agents who take an active role in forming identities. Authors use constructed dialogue to convey stances that signal distance from a group, alignment with a group, or a sense of living a dual-culture identity. The analysis of constructed dialogue in Half and Half adds to an understanding of how mixed heritage narrators see themselves in relation to the world around them, and vividly highlights the role words may play in the constructions of their identities.
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