Family And Identity In Erasure, By Percival Everett

Decent Essays

In the well-known novel “Erasure” author Percival Everett, entertains the reader by having a “story within the story.” The main character, Stagg Lee is the author of “My Pafology” a story about a black boy that depicts the typical black male in society. However, when Monk is not occupied by his profession, he struggles with identity crises in his personal life. Throughout his life, family has been an important aspect. His parents were one of the reasons why he had a sense of identity. However, that all changes when family secrets are revealed. Family and art, is used by Everett in the story to show how Monk struggles with his self-identity. Thelonious Ellison, also known as Monk, is intimidated by the success of other African American …show more content…

Meaning that people look for acceptance through the eyes of others, especially the white populations. Dubois mentions that, an individual should be able to be a Negro and an American. DuBois’s arguments about the efficiency of black Americans is useful in understanding the identity crisis faced by Monk Ellison. DuBois highlights that it is hard to be in a world with racial expectations, while still being artistic. In the beginning of Erasure, Monk mentions that, “The novel is finely crafted, with fully developed characters, rich language and subtle play with the plot, but one is lost to understand what this reworking of Aeschylus’ The Persians has to do with the African American experience” (Everett 2). Monk is creating art with his own personal, artistry and critical thinking skills. However, in Dubois opinion, he is still held to a certain extent, because he is black. It is the unbalance of being black and an author that creates a problem for Monk. Monk’s family, especially his parents, created Monk’s identity. Monk is confident, but also uncomfortable with who he is. He is comfortable with how people label and judge him, which also makes

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