Pearl Cleage (1948~), one of contemporary African American female writers, is well-known for her feminist standpoint; in particular, Flyin’ West (1992) displays a strong sense of sisterhood shared by African American women who explored the West during the history of Westward expansion in the 19th century. Flyin’ West remains one of Cleage’s most admired and popular plays, and this paper intends to argue that the story of crime, especially the device of murder, contributes to the success of the play. The paper starts with an examination of motives for murder. While women are usually considered as victims of violence, Flyin West turns female victims as female perpetrators to focus on the formation of crime. Then the paper takes a step further to complicate the relation between victims and perpetrators by including the issues of gender, race, and class. Without poetic justice, the play ends with no punishment for perpetrators. Therefore, the paper finally explores Cleage’s social critique through the device of murder in Flyin West.
Yi-chin Shih, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan
About the Presenter(s)
Dr Yi-chin Shih is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at National Changhua University of Education in Taiwan
See this presentation on the full schedule – Monday Schedule