Embracing the Marginalized: How the ‘Diversity’ of Exile Creates Identity in Carolina Maria De Jesus’ Diary Child of the Dark and James Joyce’s Autobiographical Novel a Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

By Kenneth DiMaggio.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Exile – whether psychological or physical – seems an unlikely state to find community and identity. Yet in two such works, a diary and a novel, the various stages of exile that the authors undergo create a sense of community more binding than the communities these authors have been rejected from. As I will examine in Carolina Maria de Jesus’ diary of her life in a Brazilian “Favela” portrayed in Child of the Dark, and then in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man-his autobiographical novel about trying to find a place for himself in early 20th century Dublin, exile can often help an isolated individual to discover fulfillment in various marginalized states. As these two authors also show, Exile is a state rich in diversity, and because of it, rich in possibility.

Keywords: Exile, James Joyce, Carolina Maria de Jesus, “Favela” Marginalized

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp.17-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 605.605KB).

Kenneth DiMaggio

Associate Professor of Humanities, Humanities, Capital Community College, Hartford, Connecticut, USA

I am an Associate Professor of Humanities at Capital Community College in Hartford Connecticut. CCC is an urban community college where students are often reading at a level that is below traditional college course work, thus making literacy a prime issue that constantly needs to be addressed. As a teacher of Literature and Writing, I am constantly looking for texts to help address the above issue, and the diary Child of the Dark has been one of my more successful texts. Besides finding new ways to address literacy, I am also looking at how to create non-traditional models of writing instruction for the classroom. I have recently been awarded a fellowship for Connecticut Community College instructors to do research at Yale University, with the focus on finding a way to internationalize your curriculum. I am presently doing research on a Madagascar-based exhumation ceremony known as “Famadihana” and how it creates a discourse between the living and the dead. I have also attended and presented a paper for the 2009 Conference on Diversity in Riga, Latvia. My paper was based on how Bakhtin’s “dialogic” theory of the novel can also help to create a “multi-cultural” reading of a text being studied in the classroom.


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