Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Candis LaPrade, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Martha E. Cook, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michael Lund, Ph.D.


In this thesis, the three novelists, as tricksters, manipulate one’s reading process by overlapping the visible with the invisible world. This thesis explores the tricksters communities and will focus on the novelists as trickster. Sherley Anne Williams, Ernest Gaines, and Gloria Naylor parody the rebel or loner trickster tradition in literature and conceptualize a world in which African Americans, white Americans, and Native Americans work communally to deconstruct the stereotypes associated with race, age, and gender. The authors use parody as a humorous narrative technique. The humor enables the modern reader to look into the past at the wrongs imposed on African Americans by chattel slavery. Their works educate contemporary readers about the perils of slavery, racism of the 1970’s, and multicultural intolerance still present in contemporary America. Including multi-ethnic, androgynous, and various-aged members within their revolutionary trickster communities. In conclusion, these authors offer hope of growing intercommunication and tolerance among the races.



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