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American Literature Nella Larsen - Research Paper Example

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OUTLINE Title of Paper: Analyzing the African American Woman: The writings of Nella Larsen  Thesis: Larsen, in her life and through her characters, struggled with issues of race, gender, and social recognition – all contributing to the ultimate question of self-identity for those of colored lineage…
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American Literature Nella Larsen
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Download file to see previous pages Thesis Statement  II. Main Idea (1st control of Thesis)  Larsen used Helga Crane to express her insights about issues of race, gender and social recognition. A. Brief Background B. Supporting idea or research The protagonist in Quicksand reflected Larsen’s early life and struggles. C. Supporting idea or research  Helga Crane expressed Larsen’s insights on self-identity, particularly the difficulties in growing up as a mulatto. D. Supporting Idea or research The gender theme was explained by how Larsen viewed motherhood as one that constrained or enslaved women. III. Main Idea (2nd Control of Thesis)  The numerous ways of “passing”in Passing symbolized Larsen’s own struggles for self-identity and her insights on each of them. A. Brief Background B. Supporting idea or research How the strategies of passing as a white woman – passing completely or just for convenience - demonstrated the differing approaches toward self-identity.  C. Supporting idea or research  There were the failures of Larsen’s protagonists in their struggles and how these reflected her own and her thoughts in this regard. D. Supporting idea or research  The quest for self-identity as expressed in Larsen’s two novels was characterized by an interplay of race, gender and social recognition. The self-identity handle was effective because it was a theme Larsen was familiar with. E. Opposition Point Larsen’s background may not correctly reflect those experiences she narrated in her works. V. Conclusion  Quicksand and Passing are the evidences to demonstrate Larsen’s view, insights and experiences with regards the theme of self-identity entailed in the issues of race, gender, and social recognition. A. Summary of Arguments Raised B. Thesis Re-worded  C. Concluding Statement: Larsen was not satisfied with being a member of the black elite as well as with the existing alternatives available to her in her quest for self-identity, she wanted more, and for this she suffered some tragedy. First, she seemed trapped by its narrowness, and because black experiences longed to live in a world. Secondly, the solutions she was able to come up with were all still found wanting as demonstrated by the failures of her characters. She was torn and all her life, she continued to struggle. The author expressed these feelings and perceptions through her writings and her female protagonists. Analyzing the African American Woman: The writings of Nella Larsen Nella Larsen was a famous novelist and short story writer associated with the Harlem Renaissance era, which one writer has aptly called as "an era of extraordinary progress in American black art and literature" (Thadious, 133-145). Although her literary work was limited, it was of extraordinary quality, and earned her recognition from both contemporaries and critics today. In 1928 and 1929, Larsen published two novels, “Quicksand” and “Passing”, respectively. Both of which focused on the lives of African American women and their place in society.  She created brilliant female characters in her novels who fought for equal rights and social recognition. Particularly, the extensive study devoted to her characters and the complexity and realism they depicted are widely recognized. Through the roles she explored in them, she was able to explain the intersections of race and gender, and in doing so, she demonstrated how the discussion of black identity, which often restricts the range of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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