Beyond the Margins: Identity Fragmentation in Visual Representation in Michel Tournier’s La Goutte d’or
Gray, Richard J. II
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In Tournier’s novel, the goutte d’or also corresponds to a symbolic object: a Berber jewel. It is the jewel that Idriss brings with him, but which he also subsequently loses upon his arrival in Marseille. From the very moment that the French tourist photographs him, a marginalization of Idriss’s identity occurs. Marginality, quite literally, refers to the spatial property of a location in which something is situated. Figuratively speaking, marginality suggests something that is on the edges or at the outer limits of social acceptability. In this essay, I explore the construction of the marginalized postcolonial self (the “Other”) through an examination of the function of visual representation in the development of a postcolonial identity in La Goutte d’or. In the end, I conclude that the construction of a postcolonial identity is based upon fragmentation and marginalization, which ultimately leads its subject to create an identity based upon false constructions.