"Quicksand" and "Passing" by Nella Larsen Analytical Essay by jackinbox
"Quicksand" and "Passing" by Nella Larsen
A comparative analysis of the representation of black womanhood in Nella Larsen's "Quicksand" and "Passing".
# 58965 | 1,880 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2005 |
Published on May 27, 2005 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis) , African-American Studies (Gender) , Women Studies (Culture)
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This paper examines how the stories "Quicksand" and "Passing" illustrate the profound pressures felt by Nella Larsen as a female writer in the male dominated Harlem Renaissance. It looks at how Larsen grapples with the conflicting demands of her racial and sexual identities and the contradictory nature of a black and feminine aesthetic. It attempts to show that while Larsen's literature appears to project feminist concessions to the dominant ideology of romance, marriage and motherhood, it can equally be interpreted as a radical and original critique of female sexual experience, repressed in both literary terms and in Larsen's own contemporary society.
From the Paper:"The theme of racial identity is central to the exploration of black womanhood in both 'Quicksand' and 'Passing.' The main protagonist of 'Quciksand,' Helga Crane is portrayed by Larsen to suffer from a dual consciousness arising from her mixed parentage. Helga appears indifferent or even accommodating towards white racism as she accepts her uncle's new wife's racist attitudes, believing that she was 'an obscene sore in all their lives, at all costs to be hidden. She understood while she resented.' Helga is also ambivalent regarding Anne's ongoing racism towards whites in the form of sociological critique, and the condemnation of miscegenation."
Cite this Analytical Essay:
"Quicksand" and "Passing" by Nella Larsen (2005, May 27) Retrieved May 28, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/quicksand-and-passing-by-nella-larsen-58965/
""Quicksand" and "Passing" by Nella Larsen" 27 May 2005. Web. 28 May. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/quicksand-and-passing-by-nella-larsen-58965/>