Document Type


Date of Award



College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences (COLABS)

Degree Name

MA in English

First Advisor

Dr. Patricia Williams


Sutton E. Griggs' The Hindered Hand or the Reign of the Repressionist is discursively reconstructed to prove its meritious qualities as a brilliant display of propaganda. Contextually, the speech acts of Ensal Ellwood, Earl Bluefield, Tiara Merlow, and Gus Martin are evaluated in this research to prove that Griggs is able to manipulate speechpatterns to conform to his audience's preferences regarding language. Theoretically, the double voice, hidden polemic, and functional uses of language are the theoretical approaches applied to the text. Insights from Henry Louis Gates' parodic narration, double voiced hidden polemic in African American literature and Roger Fowler's expressive or emotive function of language provides the appropriate backdrop for this study from a literary and linguistic critical perspective, respectively. The exploration includes "linguistic elitism," and "double consciousness," in the speech acts and speech paradigms of the Negro middle class versus working class African Americans in the literature of the Postbellum South.