Titolo: A Fence, a Pair of Shoes and a Piano: The Legacy of Memory in Fences, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson
Autore: Elena Bissacco
Relatore: Francesca Bisutti
Correlatori: Gregory Dowling, Carla Cappetti
Corso di laurea: Lingue e Letterature Europee, Americane e Postcoloniali
Tipo: tesi di laurea
Anno accademico: 2012/ 2013
Abstract: This study explores the importance of memory for African Americans in three major plays by the American playwright August Wilson. Central to Wilson’s theatre is the idea that it is possible to move forward into the future only after having remembered the past. However, the dissertation stresses that dealing with memory can be quite complicated. In fact, both its absence and presence can have far-reaching consequences. The thesis demonstrates that Wilson’s theatre offers a solution to the dilemma: you have to learn how to use the remembrance of the past in order to shake off its weight. By adopting the technique of close reading, I analyze the main passages of each play in order to highlight the relationship between the characters and their past. Each chapter is devoted to the analysis of a single play and they are arranged in the following order: Fences, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and The Piano Lesson. [...] After comparing the plays, it has been possible to observe that the inability to deal with the past causes similar side effects in the characters: it destroys their own Self in addition to destroying the relationship with others. Only the characters who learn to enclose the past within their present, will be finally able to overcome such divisions. The dissertation shows that central to these plays is the idea that people have the responsibility not only of remembering but also of turning the past into a useful tool to create their present. Your inheritance can consist of a pair of old brogans, some Blues, an unfinished fence or an old piano: it is up to you to use them to illuminate your present. As Harry J. Elam observes, “one must go back in order to move forward” but “the past will lead us if we force it to”. Underneath Wilson’s project lies the belief that the disease affecting African Americans communities stems from an “unfinished business with the past”. Through the life of his characters, he provides a site of memory where the audience can confront and learn to value a historical and cultural legacy that concerns all Americans.
La tesi è in lingua inglese.
Una selezione di testi presenti delle biblioteche BALI utilizzati come riferimenti bibliografici nella tesi è presente in questa lista: August Wilson
A integrazione, ecco un elenco di alcune risorse disponibili in formato elettronico accessibili in rete di Ateneo:
- An Interview with August Wilson
- Theatre and the Afro-American Rite of Being
- The plays of August Wilson as vehicles for individuation and the development of cultural sensitivity in helping professionals
- The Failure of the American Dream in August Wilson's Fences