Quicksand, Identity and Women's Experience
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). It shows how class, race, and gender connect by paralleling the plight of Quicksand as a protagonist in the definition of racial identity while struggling to attain sexual autonomy. The thesis makes a conclusion that the failure by Helga to achieve autonomy indicates that the novel critiques misogyny and racism within the society.
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.
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.
[...] Helga's leaving is based on longing for Negroes and not Americans (92). The return of Helga shows that she has control over herself and sexuality. “Quicksand” portrays two forms of stereotypes that create limitation to Helga to offer her protagonists two options: either to return to Copenhagen, or explore the path from which she strayed (106). Helga fears start when she learns that her stand on sexuality opposes the common stereotype. “Quicksand” connects African American suppression of sexuality of women with assimilation. [...]
[...] Consequently, she rejects this society and returns to Harlem. Limiting the options, “Quicksand” shows both stereotypes restrictiveness and denial of women's sexual autonomy. The novel uses stereotypes of African American women to make comments on movements that oppose Harlem Renaissance. 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. [...]
[...] Works Cited German, Dereses L. and Fredes M Poska. Women & femininity in the Western ancient times. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company Print. Nella,Gredse. Maryland . New York city: Penguin standard Print. [...]
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