Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Levy, Michele

Abstract

This study will explore literary texts that display how the Christian church, more specifically the Baptist and Pentecostal denominations, obstruct homosexuals’ identity by implementing a limited, rigid morality that rejects all who do not fit within its code, a dynamic that impedes the individual’s search for authenticity (here taken to mean one’s full being). After first examining the general beliefs of the church, with a particular emphasis on the black church, I will then juxtapose the semi-autobiographical texts of Randall Kenan and Jeanette Winterson, A Visitation of Spirits and Oranges are Not the Only Fruit.

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