Passing for Paradise: Colonial Mimicry and Desire in Pachinko and The Bluest Eye



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This thesis is generally concerned with formations and relations of power: how are power structures formed and replicated across borders, and why are they replicated? Through a comparative literary analysis of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko, I examine how each author explores racial subjugation, particularly its effects and the motivation behind it. I found that the desire of the subjugated person for colonial constructions of paradise and the propensity of the subjugated to perform passing, illustrates the insidious effectiveness of colonial indoctrination. Lee and Morrison point to the fictitious nature of paradise and the colonial identities constructed in relation to it through the characters’ inability to attain paradise. This in turn pushes the readers to contemplate alternative ways of being to the one available in paradise.



Power, Racial Subjugation, Racialization, Colonialsim, Capitalism, Imperialism, Race and Relationality, Caste, Japan, US, Korean, African American, Paradise, Colonial Mimicry, Passing