Sahar Jamshidian Hossein Pirnajmuddin
Tom Wolfe in A Man in Full (1998) addresses the racial, political, cultural, and economic issues of the 1990s. Setting the novel in Atlanta, one of the most important cities of the American South, Wolfe probes America’s racial and political history decades after the Civil Rights Movement. In this article, we look into the relationship between the white upperclass, the black middleclass and underclass depicted in Wolfe’s novel before and after the black political empowerment through the lens of Emanuel Levinas’s theory of alterity and the ethics of sensibility. By weaving different subplots together, we argue, the novel seems to suggest that a combination of the ethics of sensibility − with its emphasis on responsibility for the Other − and the ethics of Stoicism − with its emphasis on self-respect and self-responsibility − could contribute to the formation of much more ethical and responsible citizens.
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