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Analysis of Erasure by Percival Everett

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  1. Introduction
  2. Review
  3. Conclusion

Throughout reading Percival Everett's Erasure, many conclusions can be made about Thelonius Ellison's character development, one could argue, even possible digression. Everett's title Erasure, itself signifies the act of devolution, to complete non-existence. Not only does the content of the text reveal the erasure of the majority of main characters in the story, but it also is apparent in the actual construction of the novel.

The actual cover of the book is something that Bernard Bell's review brought to my attention, which I hadn't actually contemplated. The cover of my copy of Erasure is a bit different than the one Bell describes. He depicts the cover as having, ?a smiling little black boy pointing a gun at his head in what is ostensibly a mock suicide, with the book title in lower-case letters and the sign of a red "x" under the photo, suggesting the child's violent self-erasure? (Bell 475). The cover of the copy I read is similar, depicting an adolescent, shirtless black man with his hand up symbolizing a gun, and in the background are the words to ?MyPafology?. The title itself is in all capital letters and is enclosed in a red box.

[...] Leigh becomes more prominent to eventually take over, it is made blatantly clear that Monk must erase himself completely, give in to society's expectations, and become what he hates most. This is an allegory for the perpetual, systematic oppression of subordinate cultures through compartmentalization, as well as hegemony, through the oppressed (Monk) participating in his own oppression (succumbing to the transformation of Stagg Leigh). Works Cited Bell, Bernard W. Rev. of Erasure, by Percival L. Everett. African American Review 2003: 474-477. Everett, Percival. Erasure: a novel. New York: Hyperion, 2001. Print. [...]

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