Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Black IntersectionalitiesA Critique for the 21st Century$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Monica Michlin and Jean-Paul Rocchi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781846319389

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846319389.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 23 June 2021

“I Hugged Myself”: First-Person Narration as an Agential Act in Octavia Butler’s “The Evening and the Morning and the Night”

“I Hugged Myself”: First-Person Narration as an Agential Act in Octavia Butler’s “The Evening and the Morning and the Night”

Chapter:
(p.68) 5 “I Hugged Myself”: First-Person Narration as an Agential Act in Octavia Butler’s “The Evening and the Morning and the Night”
Source:
Black Intersectionalities
Author(s):

Florian Bast

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781846319389.003.0005

This chapter gives an introduction to the complex interrelation of agency and first-person narration in the works of Octavia Butler by way of her short story “The Evening and the Morning and the Night.” It is argued that the short story uses first-person narration to juxtapose the creation of self through language – for example, via changing we-versus-they constructions – with the self’s physical self-destruction. Not only does Butler’s text address the agential potential of the multidimensional category of voice, but its narrative perspective also bespeaks the deconstruction of the mind/body binary at the heart of the Enlightenment’s liberal humanist conception of the subject. Moreover, in choosing to construct the narrative as a creative utilization of African American literary tradition, the story creates a narrative intersectionality which serves as a locus of agency.

Keywords:   African American literary tradition, agency, Butler, Octavia, “The Evening and the Morning and the Night”, first-person narration, I-narrative, liberal humanist subject, narrative intersectionality, subject of the Enlightenment

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.