Egocentricity and Sexual Relationships in The Chaneysville Incident

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Egocentricity and Sexual Relationships in The Chaneysville Incident

The Pennsylvania Turnpike's enormous and various extensions branch between the Philadelphia, the place of John's most advanced assimilation, and the land of his origin, where in the darkness of Jack Crawley's hut he is closest to his identity as a black man. Likewise, even as a young boy learning the ways of his race, he is the latest branch of a family chronology that continues to thin ethnically, a branch with an impossibly distant origin buried in darkness. But the movement that carries John away from The Hill, away from Jack's hut and away from his own identity, is no more a source of his tormented ambivalence than the family history that fathered him. As the
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The warring forces can be classified under the terms "maternal" and "paternal". These labels are more than arbitrary. The nomenclature is intended to attribute the influences as the opposing male and female parents because the conflict itself is symbolically consistent with the familial oedipal strife. The paternal influences consist of those things, people or themes that represent John's origin and lineage, and furthermore the primordial self-understanding that he believes he must obtain. They include things such as blackness, masculinity, whiskey, hunting, African mythology, the Hill and the hut, and people like Moses, C.K. and Jack. The maternal influences consist of those that represent his complete assimilation and the loss of his past identity. They include things such as whiteness, femininity, coffee, academics, Christianity, Philadelphia and Judith's apartment, and people like his mother, Judith and the Scott's.

John is aware that both the maternal and paternal forces threaten him in some way, but as he delves further into the mystery of his origin, the threat of assimilation into a white, educated and female culture becomes dangerous to his own existence and must be avoided at all costs. Moses' death officially marks the recognizable
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