This paper aims at showcasing the exploration of African American ‘biracial’ / ‘mulatto’ women in White Anglo Saxon White Protestant America and their quest for an identity with reference to Nella Larsen’s Quicksand. As Hostetler points out Quicksand “is a meditation on color: gowns of shivering apricot; sunsets of pink and mauve light; the turquoise eyes of fellow travelers” (35). In Quicksand (1928) Larsen not only explores the modernity of New African American racial identity, but also expresses the concerns of the female “mulattos” who struggle with their “biracial” identities in s country that is sharply divided by color line. “This is the story of the struggle of an interesting cultured Negro woman against her environment,” writes Thronton (287). The novel begins with Helga’s teaching at an African American school called Naxos, but she
Nella Larsen’s novel Quicksand shows the struggle of an African-American woman by the name of Helga Crane. It is hard for Helga to truly find what she is looking for and what she desires. Helga fears her desires because they seem to confirm the stereotypes about blacks. Helga is the daughter of a black father who abandoned his family and daughter of a danish mother. The dark-skinned Helga grows up ostracized by both whites and blacks, surviving a lonely childhood only to spend her adult life continuing to seek acceptance wherever she goes.
There was yellow hair, brown hair, black hair; straight hair, straightened hair, curly hair, crinkly hair, woolly hair. She saw black eyes in white faces, brown eyes in yellow faces, gray eyes in brown faces, blue eyes in tan faces. But she was blind to its charm, purposefully aloof and a little contemptuous, and soon her interest in the moving mosaic waned.” Helga’s isolated condition allows her to observe how color and texture function in the perception of race and cultural identity. Not only does this section generate the stifling pressure of the weight of being caught in the middle of two races, but the isolated character highlights individuality and difference within one category “black.” Helga keys in on the “gradations” within her “oppressed race,” and she brings to light and describes a variety that others seem to look over. The diversity that she sees, that complicates identity and existence, overwhelms
This paper focuses on Zora Neale Hurston’s novelThere Eyes Were Watching God, itexplores the Triple oppression, race, class, gender discrimination, black woman, identity, liberated woman, oppression, suppression, conditions and situations of women in society, position of women and self-realization or self-awakening through the process of colonization, male-dominated African culture brought to America by the slaves. In fact the black women are oppressed and suppressed in different aspects. This paper is an analysis of the ways in which the protagonist of African-American literature signifies Racism, Classism and Sexism with traumatic conditions under which African- Americans live. This is an attempt to explore, from different feminist perspectives, the quest for feminine identity of a black woman, Janie Crawford, the protagonist of the novel. The protagonist's experience of gaining her natural womanhood has a number of controversial complexities.
Helga’s rage is rationalized by her conflicted identity, and as another literary critic puts it, "Through her love of color, Helga attempts to create a spectrum rather than an opposition, a palette that will unify her life rather than leave it divided" (Hostetler 35). She attempts to cement her identity by sympathizing with her African American side through activism, but she fails as she realizes she does not belong to either side; not white because she is empowering blacks and not black because she is supporting a system of white superiority. Thus, she remains divided, and she cannot help but feel repelled and
In American history during the period the power struggle among various interest groups, ethnic minorities are still discriminated against and marginalized by white and mainstream in society. The majority of immigrants of the Asian
Perhaps better compromise, and less prejudices? The West was working side by side with the Indian population. The white settlers and native tribes had found ways to coexist, for the most part, and this benefited both cultures. It was a shaping of society that allowed for growth. I feel that the influence of the east, and its “plantation” mentality played a large and significant role in the exclusion and separation of the Indians and the white Americans.
In Toni Morrison’s novel, Sula, Morrison utilizes the racist incidents within the Bottom to illustrate the submissive, degrading, and foolish influence of racist America on African Americans, while still successfully capturing the dignity and sense of community of the African Americans, ultimately demonstrating the stupidity of racism. Morrison first depicts African Americans as wanting to conform and assimilate into the white American culture through Helene’s Wright behavior towards her daughter, Nel Wright. By disliking Nel’s physical appearance, Helene represents the discrimination many African Americans have against their heritage and roots; therefore, she submits to the racism. The stupidity also becomes apparent because of Morrison’s
The text narrates his exploits and their effects on society and his subsequent capture and punishment by the Ticktockman. In a letter to Stephen King, Harlan Ellison identified his works as “foursquare for chaos” and his preference to be acknowledged as a ”troublemaker, malcontent” and “desperado”. The Harlequin’s anarchist and revolutionary actions in a conformist civilization can be viewed as a reflection of the author’s self-characterisation as a maverick. Therefore, the text could be interpreted as an exploration into individualism and its rejection of conformity to societal conventions. The author begins his story with an excerpt from Henry David Thoreau 's essay “Civil disobedience”.
In relation to Lara Feigel’s perspective, Gentry also thought Schiff went to great lengths to help make it more understandable as to how and why it was so difficult to escape the mass hysteria. When comparing Gentry’s and Feigel’s reviews, they had very similar perspectives about “The Witches”. In Lara Feigel’s review, she also mentioned Arthur Miller’s play of “The Crucible.” She started off by comparing the two renditions, which she used as the base of her argument. In Miller’s play, he changed the age of the main character Abigail Williams from eleven to seventeen and John Proctor’s from being somewhere in his sixties to thirty-five. Many of the events that unfolded in Schiff’s book were more upsetting compared to Millers’ even though he was more concerned with demonstrating parallels to McCarthyism.