Gender Stereotypes In Quicksand, Identity And Women's Experience

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“Quicksand”, Identity and Women 's Experience
Thesis Statement
The thesis explores how issues related to class, race, and gender intersect to help shape Crane’s struggle towards attaining autonomy and social stability in the 20th century (French and Allyson 457). It shows how class, race, and gender connect by paralleling the plight of Quicksand as a protagonist in the definition of racial identity while struggling to attain sexual autonomy. The thesis makes a conclusion that the failure by Helga to achieve autonomy indicates that the novel critiques misogyny and racism within the society. The thesis also tries to compare the work with a similar novel by Larsen which is more or less of the same concept. It then concludes by taking into consideration the criticism in both
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She struggles against sexual objectification and exploitation. Through Helga’s fight for sexual autonomy, the book illustrates two stereotypes of African American females which prevail throughout the literature. The novel depicts limitations of stereotypes held across Europe and the United States. The stereotypes’ pervasiveness is conveyed via constant change of settings. For instance, it criticizes reactionary stereotypes that treated sex with reticence and caution to counterbalance literary and social myths about sexuality of the black women. Helga flees and faces assimilationism and school internalized racism. In Harlem, the novel exposes how the white culture exploits the culture of African American. Helga flees again as she fears sexual objectification. She moves to Denmark where exploitation is still evident as Helga is treated as a sex object. Consequently, she rejects this society and returns to Harlem. Limiting the options, “Quicksand” shows both stereotypes restrictiveness and denial of women’s sexual
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