An Eye for An Eye: Outsiders in Pearl Cleage’s Bourbon at the Border (68188)

Session Information: Literary Studies
Session Chair: Navdeep Kahol

Monday, 29 May 2023 15:50
Session: Session 3
Room: Room A (Live Stream)
Presentation Type:Live-Stream Presentation

Premiered in 1997, Bourbon at the Border is a play written by Pearl Cleage (1948~) to remember the civil rights movement in the 20th century. By highlighting the trauma of civil rights activists, the play does not romanticize the black activists; instead, it well describes their emotional and physical pain in the aftermath of the civil rights movement through two fictional characters. Charles and May sacrifice their life for the movement; however, justice is slow, so Charles decides to take revenge through the policy of an eye for an eye. Bourbon at the Border is thus a play about crime, a series of murders, and the ending of the play finally reveals the identity of the murderer. The first part of the paper examines the characterization of Charles to see his double identities as a victim and a perpetrator. Then the paper analyzes his role as an outsider, an abnormal person, and the other, and to review how the society eliminates differences to maintain the order. Next, while Charles expects to cross the bridge to Canada, the paper also discusses the role of place in crime and to define Charles as an outsider, who is out of place and thus out of control.

Yi-chin Shih, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Yi-chin Shih is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at National Changhua University of Education in Taiwan

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00