Quicksand Character Analysis

488 Words2 Pages
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. Whether that's through her skin color, her racial ideas and viewpoints or her critical intelligence. Helga doesn’t have the access to herself nor is she able to truly understand what emotions there are that she is going through. There are a few events throughout the novel that shows how Helga is different due to not only her…show more content…
“Days of this sort of thing. Weeks of it. And the futile scanning and answering newspaper advertisements. She traversed of streets, acres but it seemed that in that whole energetic place nobody wanted her services. At least not the kind that she offered”(Larsen, 73). Helga was too advanced to be placed in a job where her skills wouldn't be used to the best of her abilities. Here, Helga’s critical intelligence was challenged. The second event that helps determine how Helga is using her critical intelligence is in Naxos. Helga tells Dr. Anderson that she doesn't seem to “fit” there, in Naxos. And when she speaks to Margaret Creighton, she views Naxos differently than the other members. “She could no longer abide being connected with a place of shame, lies, hypocrisy, cruelty mac servility, and snobbishness” (Larsen, 31). “Naxos? It's hardly a place at all. It's more like some loathsome venomous disease” (Larsen,
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