Heterotopic Nightmares and Coming of Age in <em>Elijah of Buxton</em>: Mobility and Maturation
A mobility perspective is essential to reading Christopher Paul Curtis’s Elijah of Buxton, as the trope of the journey is fundamental to African American coming-of-age novels. Eleven-year old Elijah Freeman travels from the security of his home to two locations, one in each half of the novel. Drawing on the work of Foucault, this paper characterizes these places as heterotopias (other places). These sites contrast mobility and stasis, allow Elijah to experience what W. E. B. Du Bois calls “double consciousness,” increase Elijah’s understanding of signifying, and illuminate lessons about slavery for both the protagonist and the reader.