Foreign Languages & Literatures ETDs

Publication Date



This thesis will study creole identity in Jean Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), prequel of Jane Eyre, as well as in Maryse Condé's La Migration des Coeurs (1995), a rewriting of Wuthering Heights. I argue that both novels create a new creole identity by conversing with their original texts as well as by going beyond the official definition of creoleness. Using the concepts of obsessive memory and forced forgetfulness, I explore the tension betwee innate and constructed identity. First, I focus on the meaning of creoleness, then, I examine how memory plays a crucial role in the novels through topics like eternal grief, skin as the divided self and name as the guarantor of identity. Additionally, I discuss the body in its function as a social and political metaphor in these texts. Finally, the last part of the thesis considers the notion of exile, encompassing not only the geographical but psychological exile within the native land.


memory, identity, creole, creoleness, skin, body, name, exile, mémoire, identité, créole, créolité, corps, peau, nom, exil, obsession, deuil, grief, oubli, forgetfulness

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Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

First Committee Member (Chair)

Vallury, Rajeshwari

Second Committee Member

Putnam, Walter