1920’s society offered a prominent way for blacks that look white to exploit its barrier and pass in society. Visible within Nella Larsen’s Passing, access to the regular world exists only for those who fit the criteria of white skin and white husband. Through internal conflict and characterization, the novella reveals deception slowly devours the deceitful.
In the novel Sula, Toni Morrison focuses on the relationship between the protagonist Sula Peace and the foil Nel Wright, as well as their path to womanhood. Yet, Morrison includes details of the events within the upbringing and adulthood of each of their mothers. When the girls became young adults, their conduct within society resembled those of their mothers. The actions a mother takes are noticed by her daughter. In fact, a mother’s demeanor within society, may be inherited by her daughter. The behavior that Sula’s mother, Hannah and Nel’s mother, Helen upheld in their community, were assimilated by their daughters Sula and Nel, which lead them to a life of despair.
Cassie Logan, the central protagonist of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor, has, all her life, been shown confidence, love, and pride in herself, her history, and, most importantly , her family. During this year, though she is only nine years old, Cassie is shown the real world of cruel racism and supposed white superiority. Many people treat blacks as if they are inferior to whites, such as Miss Crocker, the Night Men, and Lillian Jean Simms. These people have specifically impacted dark-skinned Cassie; they have tried to degrade her, and destroy her pride and confidence. Throughout my essay I will be discussing how the characters listed above have tried to reduce Cassie’s worth--only because of her skin color-- and if they have succeeded or not.
I choose to analysis the ethical approach of “Zora Neal Hurston’s “How it Feels to be Colored Me.” I think the author used a very unique to say how she feel about herself. I can relate to the author, when she speaks of her town, and how she didn’t realize her skin until she left her. Growing up I really didn’t know how different my skin was, until I found myself in predominate white church. For a while, people treated me differently, until they realized I was human with a great heart and attitude.
Written by the great Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon is where the song of African- Americans is sung with the most genuine and sincere voice in utmost entirety. In this essay, the masterpiece will be examined with gender studies approach and cultural studies approach, the function of Pilate and Ruth would be examined in depth, the suggestion that the protagonist should be more loving and caring for others would be fully explained, and the value of this book will be carefully examined.
Flannery O’Connor is a renowned Southern author, noted for her gothic works and heavily Catholic themes. She focuses predominantly on racial tensions, morality, and divine grace. The religious and moral themes of her short story, A Good Man is Hard to Find, converge on the character of the grandmother. Despite the self-proclamations of fulfilling what it means to be a Southern lady, Grandmother holds a superficial grasp of her religion. Throughout the story, the Grandmother never truly changed, only her ostensible actions did. Her final act towards the Misfit was not out of charity, but in attempt to save herself.
The grandmother represents times that are gone, and yet her love for Lisa does not change. Lisa needs that support as she goes forward in her life. We all need that safety net as we struggle forward; this message of the safety in the middle of the uncertain change is true and descriptive of our early college years today as well.
In literature, the presence the outsider can be traced from ancient Greek dramas to modern literature, from Medea to the Underground Man. Most of the literary works pertaining to the outsider focus on the conflict between the outsider and the insider, conflicts that arise from the Otherness of the outsider. For example, in Jane Eyre, the Otherness of the titular protagonist—her fiery spirit and her subverting idea of equality based on individual merits rather than social status—leads to her alienation and conflicts with the insider wherever she goes. However, Tennessee Williams, in A Streetcar Named Desire, explored a different dynamic—namely the conflict between two outsiders, Stanley Kowalski and Blanche DuBois. In the domestic sphere
Walker’s essay shows the dehumanization and abuse that black women have endured for years. She talks about how their creativity was stifled due to slavery. She also tells how black women were treated more like objects than human beings. They entered loveless marriages and became prostitutes because of the injustice upon them. Walker uses her mother’s garden to express freedom, not only for her but for all the black women who had been wronged. Walker described her mother as radiant when she was planting, her work outshining the wrongdoings done to her and the people before her. The garden was where her mother could make truly make “art.” The garden was also a representation of the creativity of the women who hold a talent close to their heart
A Raisin in the Sun addresses major social issues such as racism and feminism which were common in the twentieth century. The author, Lorraine Hansberry, was the first playwright to produce a play that portrayed problematic social issues. Racism and gender equality are heavily addressed throughout the play. Even though we still have these issues today, in the 1950’s and 60’s the issues had a greater part in society. Racism and gender have always been an issue in society, A Raisin in the Sun is an important piece of American history during that time period. The famous play shows the audience the life it was like to live as a black female, and shows the struggles that the Young family faced being the first African American family to move into a white neighborhood. This play is considered a
Nella Larsen’s Passing is a novella about the past experiences of African American women ‘passing’ as whites for equal opportunities. Larsen presents the day to day issues African American women face during their ‘passing’ journey through her characters of Irene Redfield and Clare Kendry. During the reading process, we progressively realize ‘passing’ in Harlem, New York during the 1920’s becomes difficult for both of these women physically and mentally as different kinds of challenges approach ahead. Although Larsen decides the novella to be told in a third person narrative, different thoughts and messages of Irene and Clare communicate broken ideas for the reader, causing the interpretation of the novella to vary from different perspectives.
The play “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen, portrays many different characters with different sides to themselves. A quote by Kurt Vonnegut writes “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be;” this shows us that everyone pretends to be someone, which means the characters in the play have a good chance of pretending to be someone else whom they are not. mInevitably, not every character can show each one of their sides, but rather, it has to be interpreted. Nora, to be specific, has a completely contradictory side to herself that we later discover in the play. Nora masks her mature-self underneath her childlike personality in order to appear as the positive,
The Help is set in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960s. Skeeter, a southern society girl, interviews the black women who have spent their lives being servants for wealthy white Southern families. There are various scenes throughout the film that show social stratification, racial inequalities, gender inequalities, and class inequalities.
California, the petri dish of global political activity. From its very beginning, Southern California has been a frontrunner in political thought and activism. Major political organizations have either started in California or at the very minimum have local political branch. But as Pulido points out “people cannot fully participate in social movements without undergoing a process of political awakening.” (Pulido pg 61). I would like to explore the process of political politicization and how it correlates with protagonist Jackie Ishida, a young Japanese American senior law student coming of political age in the novel “Southland” by Nina Revoyr.
Afro-American women writers present how racism permeates the innermost recesses of the mind and heart of the blacks and affects even the most intimate human relationships. While depicting the corrosive impact of racism from social as well as psychological perspectives, they highlight the human cost black people have to pay in terms of their personal relationships, particularly the one between mother and daughter. Women novelists’ treatment of motherhood brings out black mothers’ pressures and challenges for survival and also reveals their different strategies and mechanisms to deal with these challenges. Along with this, the challenges black mothers have to face in dealing with their adolescent daughters, who suffer due to racism and are heavily influenced by the dominant value system, are also underlined by these writers. They portray how a black mother teaches her daughter to negotiate the hostile, wider world, and prepares her to face the problems and challenges boldly and confidently.