The Black women have always been the victims of racial and gender discrimination. The marginal space they occupy in the society, have made them aware of a need for sisterhood or bonding between women. The narrative in the black-womanist fiction acts as a
The task of ecocriticism, is to formulate a conceptual foundation for the study of interconnections between literature and the environment. Literature can be perceieved as an aesthetically and culturally constructed part of the environment, since it directly addresses the questions of human constructions, such as meaning, value, language, and imagination, which can, then, be linked to the problem of ecological consciousness that humans need to attain. Within this framework, eco-critics are mainly concerned with how literature transmits certain values contributing to ecological thinking. Environmental crisis is a question that cannot be overlooked in literary studies. Consciousness raising in environmental thinking, and the ethical and aesthetic dilemmas posed by the global ecological crisis, force literary scholars to recognize the important role literature and criticism play in understanding man’s position in the ecosphere. Literature can be usefully examined as having some bearing on man and his practical relation to the natural world. Novels of Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy dealing with London in the age of Industraial Revolution served as an agecy of awareness. They can be publicized to help advance the cause of natural environment. In the Return of the Native, Clym Yeobright comes back to his native environment leaving the glamorous city life of Paris. In his essay, “Literature and Ecology: An Experiment in Ecocriticism,” William Rueckert defines ecocriticism as “the application of ecology and ecological concepts to the study of literature, because ecology (as a science, as a discipline, as the basis for human vision) has the greatest relevance to the present and future of the world” (1996:107). In this context the possible relations between literature and nature are examined in terms of ecological concepts. Ecocriticism, then, attempts to find a common ground between the human and the nonhuman to show how they can coexist in various ways, because the environmental issues have become an integral part of our existence. This is one problem that ecocriticism addresses in its attempt to find a more environmentally conscious position in literary studies. Ecology is found in classic literature of all sorts. Charles Dickens, for example, touched on the ethical questions of human population growth and density in many of his novels. One of Dickens’ most famous characters, Ebenezer Scrooge, said in response to a request to help the poor who “would rather die” than go to the workhouses, “if they’d rather die, then they had better do it and decrease the surplus population.” This idea of a “surplus population” was not an uncommon belief in England during the 19th century, though Dickens himself deplored it. Ebenezer Scrooge is the focal character of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol. At the beginning of the novella, Scrooge is a cold-hearted miser who despises Christmas. Dickens describes him thus: “The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, made his eyes red, his thin lips blue, and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice...”. Throughout A Christmas Carol the personality of Ebenezer Scrooge shifts from a man who only cares about himself and his wealth to a man who cares about others.
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