Chapter

Prison Breaks: Modes of Escape in Auta de Souza’s Poetics of Freedom

Monique-Adelle Callahan

in Between the Lines

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199743063
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895021 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199743063.003.0005

Series: Imagining the Americas

Prison Breaks: Modes of Escape in Auta de Souza’s Poetics of Freedom

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This chapter examines Auta de Souza’s poetry in the context of Brazilian slavery and abolition. Auta challenges the definitions of personal freedom to self-design, self-define, reconcile colonial history with its history of slavery, and new, independent Brazilian nation. Auta’s use of symbolism addresses issues related to Brazilian nationhood as it tried to reconcile a recent history of racial slavery. She postulates a poetic space in which the rhetorical and political tensions of the nation interact intimately with the individual search for identity. Finally, this chapter argues that Auta’s reconfigurations of biblical tropes and her attention to the recurrent theme of freedom through the literary re-imagining of identity not only link her work to a national and transnational discourse about slavery and freedom, but also align her work with other afrodescendente writers like Frances Harper and Cristina Ayala.

Keywords: Brazil; abolition; slavery; Princess Isabel; redentora; Auta de Souza; Afro-Brazilian literature; afrodescendente; Cristina Ayala; Frances Harper

Chapter.  8682 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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