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The Macksey Journal

Abstract

The French colonization of Haiti is an open wound that continues to leave its mark on Haiti and those who’ve lived under its influence. This tragedy serves as the basis for Cuban author Alejo Carpentier’s The Kingdom of This World (1949), a novel that explores the impacts of colonialism and the events surrounding/following the Haitian Revolution of 1803 through the varying gendered perspectives of both Haitian slaves and French and Haitian aristocrats. Through his narrative focal points, Carpentier establishes a link between the idea of masculinity and an individual’s sensory experiences. In particular, this project focuses on the novel’s use of gendered auditory signals as a method of exploring the differing relationships/perspectives that colonizers and colonized individuals have towards masculinity. Placing the primary text into conversation with the post-colonial psycho-analytical theoretical framework established in Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks, this project departs from Fanon’s theory of the actional man to propose that colonialism influences the development of a complex rooted in reactive behaviors against the oppressor’s masculinity.

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