The Racial Myth of the Black Violence: A Žižekian Study of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, Sula, and Beloved

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD Candidate of English Language and Literature, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Kerman Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kerman, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran



The bulk of what we know as violence is myth. Since myths have been told and retold over the years, they have been taken as truth. This paper explores racial myths as representations of verbal violence in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, Sula, and Beloved. Toni Morrison as an African-American identity explorer dwells on the slogans and myths as manifestations of Žižekian symbolic violence. Methodologically, this study uses political discourse analysis, black gendered feminism and psychoanalysis in the light of Slavoj Žižek's commentary on violence to be the approaches of analyzing the drawn data. The fusion of psychoanalytic terms with political ones sheds a fresh light on the concepts of ideology and violence. This paper aims at exploring the mechanisms of the black violence myth that spread the racial beliefs that Africans are more violence prone and have higher pain tolerance than Europeans. The conclusion extracted from this study confirms that the discourse of the myths functions as pseudo-ideologies to normalize the violence against non-European races and stop the African subalterns' resistance in the form of fighting back against the raids of the Europeans.


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  • Receive Date: 09 October 2022
  • Revise Date: 13 March 2023
  • Accept Date: 28 April 2023
  • First Publish Date: 28 April 2023