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Quicksand, Identity, and Women's Experience - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: “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)…
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Quicksand, Identity, and Womens Experience
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"Quicksand, Identity, and Women's Experience"

Download file to see previous pages 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 novels. The thesis shows how both novels portray female characters in three dimensions: they are original, capable of independence, and have a common tragic fate. Class, Race, and Gender in “Quicksand” “Quicksand” explores the ways women’s identities are represented through the struggle of Helga to find her place in the contemporary society. 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. ...
The stereotypes were shaped and established by African females in the US (French and Allyson 453). Women who were enslaved were denied their humanity and stripped off their race due to lack of autonomy. The rape legacy contributed to the ruthless exploitation female slaves, which totally deprived African American women of their sexuality. “Quicksand” connects the dehumanization and exploitation of black women’s sexuality with objectification and exploitation of African American women in the culture of Harlem renaissance. In the primitivism of e Harlem Renaissance, one can see that the USA denied African Americans their identity via enslavement. Celebration of African roots is emphasized as a way differ The Afro-Americans displayed as uncorrupted have become a metaphor. The novel illustrates the prevalence of stereotypes via Helga’s internalizing them. She rates her intelligence to be different from African American race. For instance, Helga while in Harlem viewed the patrons of African American descent as jungle creatures. Helga felt that being white separated her from the situation of distorted childishness (Nella 59). This novel contests this setting’s unreality and illustrates the cabaret situation in the context of a broader society. Trying to adjust to the life in Harlem, Helga learns that she is an outsider and she is keen of the whites’ dominance which has an intention of intruding cabaret scene. This situation plays out the fear in Helga by personification of the taxi cabs like cabaret dancers, displaying their movements (58). Helga fears that primitive cabaret is in low esteem in the society of the white. Otherwise, they will not pay attention to the African American, which will lead to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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