Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Department of English
I was searching for a cure for being voiceless when I learned that I am not voiceless at all; I am silent. Voice, however, is a product of the dominant ideology of the ruling class, a product equated with presence and participation, whereas silence is a product of the resistance of the subaltern, a product equated with self-effacement and submissiveness. Therefore, voice is often understood as the opposite of silence, and those who possess voice possess power. The subaltern is consequently excluded, only heard and considered when adopting Western language and culture. This conformity fractures the identity of the subaltern, erasing fragments of the truth. Still, alienated within the Western culture, the subaltern is disconnected, dissociated, and does not belong: these are the meanings of the word "foreign." Experiences of racial and domestic violence born of coerced migration and assimilation reduce the subaltern to a state of destability, facing the impossibility of feeling physically or mentally connected. As long as the ruling class equates voice with presence and participation and silence with self-effacement and submissiveness, the voice, the silence of the subaltern will be silenced forever. Here, I attempt to attain voice, and "self," on the page.
Tran, Julie, "The Quiet Girl in the Quiet Room: Can the Subaltern Speak?" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 379.