e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

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Master-Slave Dialectics and the Evolution of the Self in Bulosan’s America is in the Heart

Met’eb Ali Alnwairan

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 28, Issue 2, June 2020

Keywords: America is in the Heart, Carlos Bulosan, Filipino Americans, Hegel, identity recognition, Marx, master-slave dialectics, self-consciousness

Published on: 26 June 2020

This paper is devoted to dissecting the master-slave dialectics in Carlos Bulosan’s America is in the Heart (1947). The paper deals with the dialectics as a depiction of a unique “productive process” and transformation in human societies. Dialectics describes the evolution of the self-conscious human individuality as a foundation of the individual’s moral agency. The readings provided in this paper reveal a part of the wide scope of interpretations this dialectics can provide. I argue that the novel represents a historical stance, in which Bulosan’s self-consciousness is formed. His journey from the Philippines to America represents the master-slave dialectics introduced by Hegel and adopted by Marx later on. The paper illustrates the role of the dialectics in helping the protagonist to better understand his identity and to overcome his internal conflicts.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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