Five Easy Pieces: Race in the Symbolic Universe

15 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2014

Date Written: July 28, 2014


How did Western culture get from Shakespeare’s Caliban to Bill Cosby’s Dr. Cliff Huxtable? This essay examines that trajectory by consider six imaginative works: Shakespeare's The Tempest, Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Forster's A Passage to India, Faulkner's Light in August, Zemeckis's Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and The Cosby Show. The focus is on the projective dynamics of racisim where the racial Other is made to express feelings and desires that the dominant culture denies.

Keywords: race, racism, multiculturalism, African-America, projection, symbolism, culture

Suggested Citation

Benzon, William L., Five Easy Pieces: Race in the Symbolic Universe (July 28, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

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