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Natasha Trethewey often confronts the dichotomy of her biracial identity throughout her works of poetry. She approaches her art with rhythmic aptitude as she dissects perceptions of self as they intertwine with perceptions thrust upon her from the outside world. In Native Guard Trethewey yearns for reconciliation. Through dreams she seeks reconciliation with her personal history as a grieving daughter and reconciliation with a national historical narrative that rarely incorporates both elements of her race. The dreams offer a safe, yet at times seemingly haunting, mode for navigating the tribulations of reconciliation. Trethewey sees her deceased mother in her dreams, but as wakefulness takes over, she is forced to remember that her mother has departed. Other dreams fill her with a sense of personal responsibility to force an allocation of representation for her ancestors in southern history, while yet another dream helps her assert to the world who she is and where she comes from. The purpose of the following work is to reveal the dreams in both a symbolic and literal aspect.


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18 Jul 2022
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  • Alternative title
    • Dreams of Reconciliation in Native Guard

  • Journal title
    • Papers & Publications

  • Volume
    • 3

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Keywords