The caul theme in Tina McElroy Ansa's novels
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This thesis examines Tina McElroy Ansa's cultural validation of the caul and its aesthetic application as literary device in her novels Baby of the Family (1989), The Hand I Fan With (1996), You Know Better (2002) and Ugly Ways (1993). The project contends Ansa's ability to create a reality consisting of the natural and the supernatural, and offers a cohesive and close critique of Ansa's four novels. I argue that the interactions of the supernatural world with the caulbearer in the natural world will complicate the caulbearer's understanding of self, reality, and identity. I also introduce the term of caulbearer-by-proxy which has importance in the reading of Ugly Ways. The discussion drives on interweaving aspects of folklore and literature.