(RE)CONSTRUCTION OF IMAGERY AND IDENTITY OF SELF IN NARRIYAH WAHEED’S, SALT.
This research investigates how the self uses identity and images that permits us to produce, transform or manipulate representation of the self and how through rhetorical language, language, symbols and signs enables the recreation of newer identities and representation of the subjects. The self as individuals in their own means or through the help of others effect changes through certain number of operations on their bodies, thoughts, conducts, essence resulting to a transformation and reconstruction of themselves, and the attainment state of completion, happiness, whole that were earlier determined by others. Through Nayyirah Waheed’s poetry collection Salt (2013) I explore the use of voice of the personae and that of the poet, as individual and collective subjects, identities and part of the culture and society that focus on the historical ontology of ourselves. Through these voices, the research interrogates: how they recreate and are aware of their representations within individualized and communal spaces (physical or cultural); how these voices, additionally assume relations to selves and others through resistance and recreate of gendered representations and identities representational of their unique experiences identifiable through various structural and stylistic elements of language used in the poetry. Thus, the study draws upon the post-colonial theory to examine how the voices, use their power to determine within the spaces they exist in, as conduct of their individuality that sets them apart and separate from the dominating powers by reconstructing and negating assumed images and representations as subject or objects. The study also adopts the feminist theoretical frameworks to look at the issues of gendered representation and identities. Rhetorical perspective emphasizes and offers insight on the importance of language as a persuasive act applied by the personae and the poet and how through the utilization of signs, symbols or significations there is a reconstruction of images and identities in the literary work. A close textual analysis of the literary text reveals that through the voice(s), individual poems and the collection as a whole, they are symbolic of how identities are and can be understood; as part of the individual self and collective communal self. The concerns and emphasis of identity reconstruction voices be the persona are those concerns drawn from truths, obligation and relations to ourselves and to others.
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