White - Colored White, Not Colored Summary & Analysis

Richard Dyer
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Summary

Dyer begins the second chapter of White by acknowledging that “the fact that we are called and call ourselves white suggests the centrality of notions of color to white representation” (42). Whiteness is therefore a sign through which white people are “visible as white, while simultaneously signifying the true character of white people, which is invisible” (45) and universal. Dyer explores three senses of whiteness as color in this chapter: as a hue, as the color of skin, and as a symbol.

White is a hue in what the author deems an ‘unstable’ way, since painters and other artists have historically struggled to define white. It is sometimes the combination of all hues at once – as in the case of white light – but is also sometimes the absence of any hue at all. It is indeterminate, while clearly exists and is recognizable. It...

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This section contains 1,282 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the White Study Guide
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