THE PORTRAITURE OF STOCKHOLM SYNDROME: CULTURAL DISLOCATION IN PHILLIS WHEATLEY’S POETRY COLLECTION AND SELECTED AFRICAN AMERICAN TEXTS
Author: Emmanuel Adeniyi
Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
One of the tropes that have often been glossed over in African American literature is the concept of Stockholm Syndrome. The syndrome emphasises irrationality and abnormal psychological or mental disposition of Stockholm Syndrome sufferers towards individuals responsible for their pitiable conditions. This article examines the conception and its nexus with slavery and the use of religion (Christianity) as an ideological tool for the indoctrination or brainwashing of African slaves and their descendants in the United States of America. I argue that the syndrome, though conceived as a correlate of Freudian ego-defence mechanism, operates like a psychedelic or hallucinogenic drug which, according to Karl Marx, dulls the reasoning capacity and cerebration of the sufferers and prevents them from thinking rationally. Besides, it alters their perception of reality forcing them to accept abnormality as normality in a bid to create an escapist route for their fears, hurt feelings and pent-up wounds.
Keywords: Stockholm Syndrome, African American literature, Phillis Wheatley, Transatlantic slavery, Ego-Defence Mechanism
Received: 20 March 2018;
Reviewed: 9 April 2018;
Accepted: 20 June 2018;
Published: 30 June 2018
Adeniyi, E. (2018). The Portraiture of Stockholm Syndrome: Cultural Dislocation in Phillis Wheatley’s Poetry Collection and Selected African American Texts. English Studies at NBU, 4(1), 41-60. https://doi.org/10.33919/esnbu.18.1.4
Copyright © 2018 Emmanuel Adeniyi
This open access article is published and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. If you want to use the work commercially, you must first get the authors' permission..
Adeniyi, E. I. (2017). Bourgeois Tensions, Marxist Economics and Aphaeresis of Communal Spirit in Sembene Ousmane’s God’s Bits of Wood and Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s Devil on the Cross. ELOPE, 14(2), 55-68. https://doi.org/10.4312/elope.14.2.55-68
Appiah, A. (1991). Is the Post- in Postmodernism the Post- in Postcolonial? Critical Inquiry, 17(2), 336-357. https://doi.org/10.1086/448586
Barker-Benfield, G. J. & Clinton, C. (1988). (Eds.). Portraits of African Women: From Settlement to the Present. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Barry, P. (1995). Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press.
Césaire, A. (1972). Discourse on Colonialism. (Joan Pinkham, Trans.). New York and London: Monthly Review Press.
Christopher, L. (2009). Stolen: Letter to My Captor. New York: Chicken House.
Collins, T. (1975). Phillis Wheatley: The Dark Side of the Poetry. Phylon, 36, 78-88. https://doi.org/10.2307/274847
Davenport, F. G. & Paullin, C. O. (2004). European Treaties bearing on the History of the United States and its Dependencies to 1648. New Jersey: The Lawbook Exchange.
Ewen, R. B. (2003). An Introduction to Theories of Personality. 6th Ed. New Jersey and London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781410607287
Freud, A. (1966). The Ego and Mechanisms of Defence. London: Karnac Books.
Ganzevoort, R. R. (2011). Narrative Approaches. In B. Miller-McLemore (Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Practical Theology (pp. 214-223). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444345742.ch20
Gates, H. L. (2003). The Trials of Phillis Wheatley: America’s First Black Poet and Her Encounter with the Founding Fathers. New York: Basic Civitas Books.
Hicks, S. R. C. (2004). Explaining Postmodernism: Scepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault. Milwaukee: Scholargy Publishing.
Hughes, L. (2008). Not Without Laughter. New York: Dover Publications.
Hurmence B. (1984). My Folks Don’t Want me to Talk about Slavery. Winston-Salem, North Carolina: John F. Blair.
Igboin, B. O. (2014). Karl Marx on Religion: The Perspective of Boko Haram in Nigeria. Journal of Religious Culture, 183, 1-17. Retrieved from https://d-nb.info/1079418288/34
Laplanche, J. & Pontalis, J. (1973). The Language of Psychoanalysis: (D. Nicholson-Smith. Trans.). London: The Hogarth Press & the Institute of Psycho-Analysis.
Mani, M. (2015). Racial Awareness in Phillis Wheatley’s Selected Poems. International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, 56, 74-79. https://doi.org/10.18052/www.scipress.com/ILSHS.56.74
Methuselah, J. S. (2014). Applying the Stockholm Syndrome Phenomenon in Osofisan’s Morountodun to Leadership in Africa. IORS Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 19(5), 53-59. https://doi.org/10.9790/0837-19565359
Nair, M. S. (2015). Stockholm Syndrome – A Self Delusive Survival Strategy, International Journal of Advanced Research 3(11), 385-388. Retrieved from http://www.journalijar.com/uploads/309_IJAR-7677.pdf
Ogunyemi, C. O. (1976). Phillis Wheatley: The Modest Beginning. Studies in Black Literature, 73, 16-19.
Truth, S. (2005). The Narrative of Sojourner Truth. USA: Paperview Ltd and the Boston Globe.
Tyson, L. (2016). Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide. New York and London: Routledge.
Uroh, C. O. 2008. Looking through a broken mirror: Blackness, Shared Memory, Shared Identity and Shared Destiny. In B. Barry, E. Soumonni & L. Sansone (Eds.), Africa, Brazil and the Construction of Trans-Atlantic Black Identities (pp.127-144). Trenton and Asmara: Africa World Press Inc.
Wade, A. (2015). The Myth of ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ and other Concepts invented to Discredit Women Victims of Violence. Retrieved from http://www.relatehb.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Stockholm-Syn-Hawkes-Bay-Abridged.pdf
Walvin, J. (2007). A Short History of Slavery. London: Penguin Books.
Wertheimer, E. (2006). Underwriting: The Poetics of Insurance in America, 1722-1872. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
Whitley, P. (1793). Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. Albany: Barber & Southwick.
Reviewer's name: Undisclosed
Review content: Undisclosed
Reviewer's name: Undisclosed
Review content: Undisclosed
Handling Editor: Stan Bogdanov
Verified Editor Record on Publons: https://publons.com/p/2091940