A psychological analysis of the struggle with racism in In Search of April Raintree
Focusing on Beatrice Mosionier’s fictional autobiography In Search of April Raintree, this thesis analyzes April and Cheryl Raintree’s emotional and psychological responses to oppression and racism and to freedom and love. One of the main arguments is that the sisters suffer internalized oppression and self-hatred after being exposed to colonial control and oppression and suffer internalized racism, self-hatred, and self-alienation and are acculturated to white cultural standards after experiencing racism. The sisters’ oppression re-enforces white dominance, and racism fosters white cultural control. The second main argument is that April and Cheryl are freed from internalized oppression when they have personal freedom and experience self-acceptance and embrace their ancestry and Aboriginal culture when they enjoy accepting, prizing love that validates their Aboriginal ancestry. The sisters’ personal freedom destabilizes white dominance and their self-acceptance and disalienation subvert white cultural values. The arguments are guided by the psychological theories of Frantz Fanon, Carl Rogers, and Eduardo and Bonnie Duran. This thesis also examines the importance that cultural practice has in April and Cheryl’s healing, studies the love the Raintree family shared in spite of the colonial forces tearing the family apart, and examines April as the narrator, showing how she is, at times, unreliable.
Aboriginal Psychology, Aboriginal Literature
Master of Arts (M.A.)