|N’GUESSAN Koffi Eugène, The Discourse of Interracial Reconciliation in Ernest J. Gaines’s Fiction|
The Discourse of Interracial Reconciliation in Ernest J. Gaines’s Fiction
N’GUESSAN Koffi Eugène,
Alassane Ouattara University
Abstract: This paper addresses the issue of reconciliation between blacks and whites through Gaines’ literary work. The focal point of Gaines’ fiction is the relationships between whites and blacks in rural Louisiana. Imprisoned in a dialectical struggle of race, blacks and whites, since the period of slavery, are fixed and permanently entangled in dominant and subordinate forms of social interactions. Conflicts, frustrations, crimes and trauma have been the pervasive results of the strained relations between the two races. How then does Gaines envision the bridge between the two racial communities? How do they come to terms with the crimes and historical injustice of slavery, racial prejudice and oppression? What are the forms of reconciliation in Gaines’ work? I propose to examine through some of Gaines’ novels, the discourse of reconciliation; that is the different suggested modes of the communities or individuals’ breaking out of the prison of the past, or their coming to terms with their traumatic experiences, and their overcoming of the racial barriers.