|摘要(英)||This thesis focuses on the blues as cultural and ethnical identities in three of August Wilson's plays, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, and Fences. The goal is to examine how the blues can function as one part of African roots and as a collective memory and experience for black Americans. The blues in Ma Rainey is treated as a commercialized product and commodity to entertain the popular taste. Yet, Ma Rainey insists on the idea that the blues as African heritage black Americans should remember. In Joe Turner's Come and Gone, the emphasis is to recover the lost song that worth singing, that is, self-determination, and self-identity. Moreover, the stress is that black Americans should find out their self-worth before they achieve self-determination and self-identity. Coming to Fences, the blues becomes "a way of life" and "a way of talking." In other words, the blues has been transcended to express black Americans' daily life and illustrate their attitude toward this fast changing social condition in the 1960s.
The content is divided into three parts that deal with these three plays respectively. The theories applied are Stuart Hall's idea of "cultural identity," "diaspora experience," and "articulation." When analyzing how black Americans are subjugated as minority and non-class race, Louis Althusser's concept of "ideology" will be applied to see through this process. Foucault's "discursive formation," on the other hand, helps explain characters' attitude toward the past and the present history. As a result, this thesis combines "history," "music," "identity," and "culture" to provide a better view about August Wilson's plays.
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