Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Sarah E. Turner Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Lokangaka Losambe Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jeanne L. Shea Ph.D.


Toni Morrison, Chris Abani, Postcolonial Theory, Carnival


This critical analysis of Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987) and Chris Abani’s The Secret History of Las Vegas (2014) utilizes a postcolonial carnivalesque critical lens, informed by Lokangaka Losambe’s innovative reinterpretation of Mikhail Bakhtin’s carnival for application to postcolonial texts. I pay particular attention to moments in these two texts in which inversions of “order” occur and analyze how these moments build towards the culmination of resistance by societally-marginalized figures. In tracing Morrison and Abani’s reliance upon carnival disruption in texts revolving around institutional inequality, I hope to illustrate how the literary device of the carnival aligns with postcoloniality, and how this alignment inherently links two texts published twenty-seven years apart in an important conversation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.