George Orwell's thesis

Essay by GoldTrimCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2004

download word file, 9 pages 4.0

The Different Conceptions of the Veil in The Souls of Black Folk "For

now we see through a glass, darkly" -Isiah 25:7 W.E.B. Du

Bois's Souls of Black Folk, a collection of autobiographical and

historical essays contains many themes. There is the theme of souls and

their attainment of consciousness, the theme of double consciousness and

the duality and bifurcation of black life and culture; but one of the most

striking themes is that of "the veil." The veil provides a link between

the 14 seemingly unconnected essays that make up The Souls of Black Folk.

Mentioned at least once in most of the 14 essays it means that, "the Negro

is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second sight

in this American world, -a world with yields him no true

self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation

of the other world.

It is a peculiar sensation, this double consciousness,

this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of

others."Footnote1 The veil is a metaphor for the separation and

invisibility of black life and existence in America and is a reoccurring

theme in books about black life in America. Du Bois's veil

metaphor, "In those somber forests of his striving his own soul rose

before him, and he saw himself, -darkly as though through a

veil"Footnote2, is a allusion to Saint Paul's line in Isiah 25:7, "For now

we see through a glass, darkly."Footnote3 Saint Paul's use of the veil in

Isiah and later in Second Corinthians is similar to Du Bois's use of the

metaphor of the veil. Both writers claim that as long as one is wrapped in

the veil their attempts to gain self-consciousness will fail because they

will always see the image...