All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Rebecca Bach

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Arts in Education (MAE) School of Education


Colonial objects in Donne’s poems embrace multifaceted attributes, offering diverse reading perspectives. Considering their multifaceted aspects, it becomes impossible for a reader to ignore his poems’ interdisciplinary qualities. They often embrace philosophical, religious, political, and historical connotations. The colonial objects, appearing as “black” characters, silent women, or colonized territories in his poems, generate East-West binaries, Western subject consciousness, Eastern [mis]representations, world polarizations, and color contrasts. His female bodies’ misogynistic/sexual portrayal frequently ends in pulling up colonial references, associating their bodies with colonial landmasses. They often associate with his spiritual consciousness, complicating reading and textual interpretations. Critics thus cannot take a single-facet approach in analyzing the underlying sense of his poems’ colonial objects. This thesis delves into all possible interpretations of Donne’s poems’ colonial stuff. It explains how using colonial materials in his poems enables Donne to sharpen world categorization, construct the West in a “discoverer” image, and justify the “New World” phraseology. His abeyance to contemporary travelers’ accounts appears in his poems’ direct addresses to them (he specifically dedicates three poems to Sir Walter Raleigh). In some of his poems (such as “Going to Bed,” “The Good Morrow,” “Loves Progress,” and others), Donne establishes a sense of possessing Eastern riches. His poetical language juxtaposes colonial possession with sexual congress, bodily explorations, and religious elevation, overlapping diverse discourses into his poems’ colonial presence.

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