Racism in Nella Larsen's "Quicksand"

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GRIN Verlag, 2011 - 36 pages
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Seminar paper from the year 2008 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,3, University of Bamberg, language: English, abstract: ..". the feeling of smallness which had hedged her [Helga] in, first during her sorry unchildlike childhood among hostile white folk in Chicago, and later during her uncomfortable sojourn among snobbish black folk in Naxos." This quotation demonstrates the complexity of racial issues Nella Larsen deals with in Quicksand. Both, interracial ("hostile white folk") and intraracial ("snobbish black folk") constructions of racism are considered within the text. The heroine, Helga Crane, moves to several places throughout the novel and in all of these locations she has to face stereotypes which restrain and oppress her. Helga is forced to fight "against imposed definitions of blackness and womanhood"2 which are inflicted on her by an oppressive white and black society. Consequently, when discussing the topic racism in Quicksand, one must keep in mind the importance of the mutual influence and the coaction between race and gender.
 

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