This article provides a postcolonial ecocritical perspective on modern American novels by relating and examining aspects of ecological and human violence in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian: The Evening Redness in the West (1985) and Anne Pancake’s Strange as This Weather Has Been (2007). While McCarthy represents examples of ethnic and racial violence and Pancake focuses on class violence, the two novelists articulate a particular awareness of the interconnections between economic and political hierarchies and different forms of ecological and human violence in different American contexts. The two novels, then, denounce the deterministic, colonial constructions of economy, power, and knowledge in modern societies on the one hand and the validation of antagonism and violence against otherness and difference on the other. Specifically examining daily experiences, psychological-mental challenges, and changes of the fifteen-years-old female teenager, Bant, in Strange as This Weather Has Been and the male teenager, the kid, in Blood Meridian, I will show how specific individuals and groups deconstruct deterministic, colonial constructions of patriarchy and violence through their ecological awareness. My analysis exposes that colonizing and colonized countries still suffer from discrepancies and contradictions of colonial culture and modern politics and ultimately reveals the limitations of white Americans’ freedom and equality within colonial and national frameworks.
This article explores the nuclear family dynamics in Williams’s play Period of Adjustment (1960) through Bowen Family Systems Theory: nuclear family emotional system and family projection process. Period of Adjustment is considered one of Williams’s most Southern plays where marriage and family values are comprehensively accentuated. However, on an emotional level, Period of Adjustment connects Williams’s familial works with Bowen’s views on the American family in the mid-twentieth century. The play is mostly neglected by many Williams scholars, and it is described thematically as shallow and superficial. Bowen’s theory provides a perceptive reading of the play that adds a novel interpretation to Williams’s emotional capability of producing a family systems-oriented drama. Furthermore, Period of Adjustment illustrates Dr. Murray Bowen’s concept of a family projection process and the four patterns of the nuclear family emotional system: emotional distance, dysfunction of one spouse, marital conflict, and impairment of one or more children.