Problème de l'identité représenté dans les Nègres de Jean Genet
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The subject of identity along with the problem of identity, which have risen out of the psychological and social relationship between text and the author, have influenced the content of many texts deeply throughout literary history. In this context, individual identity development and the problem of identity which is a result of this process have been covered in many texts and continue to do so. When it comes to the issue of social identity, the influence of individual identity development is highly effective in Jean Genet’s texts. In this study, the author’s stance towards identity as a social problem and how his approach towards the issue is handled within the literary context is analysed in his Les Nègres (The Blacks, 1963). Abandoned by his mother shortly after his birth, not ever getting to know his father, and forced to have spent his adulthood in foster care and social welfare institutions, it is possible to perceive how Genet shaped his own identity as outside the social order; as “the other”. The author claims derogatory terms such as “thief”, “homosexual”, and “criminal” that have been allotted to him by the society as his own and uses this identity as a “weapon” against the society itself. In this respect, drawing upon his own social and psychological situation, the author represents his social approach via the characters he created in his play, Les Nègres, through which he reflects an “identity crisis” embellished with poetic language to his readers/audiences that would lead to an “identity problem” as a consequence of the identity of “the other” as someone who has been marginalised and denigrated. The author, just like he himself have experienced throughout his identity development process, makes his characters internalise the effects of “alienation” through “black” identity and thus, enables his characters to reach an “inner purgation” while allowing his readers/audiences to experience this “catharsis” first-hand.