Nella larsen quicksand thesis

Introduction " 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.

Nella larsen quicksand thesis

Her mother was a seamstress and domestic worker. At this time, Chicago was filled with immigrants, but the Great Migration had not begun from the South. The black population of the city was 1.

When Nella was eight, they moved a few blocks back east. The author and critic Darryl Pinckney wrote of her anomalous situation: If she could never be white like her mother and sister, neither could she ever be black in quite the same way Nella larsen quicksand thesis Langston Hughes and his characters were black.

Hers was a netherworld, unrecognizable historically and too painful to dredge up. As a child, Larsen lived for a few years with relatives in Denmarkpossibly in Jutland. After returning to Chicago, she attended a large public school. As migration of blacks increased to the city, so had European immigration, and racial segregation and tensions had increased in the immigrant neighborhoods.

Her mother believed that education could give Larsen an opportunity and supported her in attending Fisk Universitya historically black university in Nashville, Tennessee.

Infor the first time Larsen was living within an African-American community; but she was still separated by her own background and life experiences from most of the students, who were primarily from the South, with many descended from former slaves.

Hutchinson found that Larsen was expelled for some violation of Fisk's strict dress or conduct codes. The institution was founded in the 19th century in Manhattan as a nursing home to serve black people, but the hospital elements had grown in importance.

The total operation had been relocated to a newly constructed campus in the South Bronx. At the time, the hospital patients were primarily white; the nursing home patients were primarily black; the doctors were white males; and the nurses and nursing students were black females.

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Washington 's model of education and became disillusioned with it. As it was combined with poor working conditions for nurses at Tuskegee, Larsen decided to leave after a year or so. She returned to New York inwhere she worked for two years as a nurse at Lincoln Hospital.

After earning the second-highest score on a civil service exam, Larsen was hired by the city Bureau of Public Health as a nurse. She worked for them in the Bronx through the flu pandemicin "mostly white neighborhoods" and with white colleagues.

Afterward she continued with the city as a nurse. After her marriage, she sometimes used the name Nella Larsen Imes in her writing. A year after her marriage, she published her first short stories.


The couple moved to Harlem in the s, where their marriage and life together had contradictions of class. By virtue of her marriage, she was a member of Harlem's black professional class. However, because of her low birth and mixed parentage, and because she didn't have a college degree, Larsen was alienated from the life of the black middle class, with its emphasis on school and family ties, its fraternities and sororities.

But many, such as Langston Hughes, had more distant European ancestors and belonged to a mixed-race elite, some of whom had ancestors who had been free people of color well before the American Civil War.

In the s, people in Harlem were emphasizing their black heritage.

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The Imes couple had difficulties by the late s, when he had an affair, and divorced in Larsen took a break from writing literature to work as a nurse. Many literary scholars viewed her decision to take time off as "An act of self-burial, or a "retreat" motivated by a lack of courage and dedication.

What they failed to realize is that during that time period it was difficult for a woman of color to find a stable job that not only would hire, a woman of color but also provide financial stability.

For Larsen, nursing was a "labor market that welcomed an African American as a domestic servant". Thoms saw potential in Larsen's nursing career and further helped strengthen Larsen's skills.

Larsen's medical background appears in Passing in the character of Brian, the main character's husband. Brian, like Larsen, works in the medical field. However, in the novel, Brian is a doctor whereas Larsen is a nurse.

Larsen's novel describes Brian's ambivalence around the medical field. Like Brian, Imes was a successful doctor, but the difference between the two is that Imes later on divorced Larsen and remarried a white woman.

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Nella Larsen - Wikipedia

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. It was run by Columbia University and opened the way for integration of library staff. They, and another branch supervisor where she worked, supported Larsen and helped integrate the staff of the branches.This thesis explores the constructions of African American female identity in Nella Larsen’s two novels, Quicksand and Passing.

- Nella Larsen’s “Quicksand” depicts a young woman who lives her life around her dyer need to find her place in society. In the setting of Quicksand, discrimination is a key factor in the text because Helga Crane, who is a biracial woman, is expected to settle in a race in which she does not necessarily call her own.

Quicksand, by Nella Larsen. Quicksand, by Nella Larsen. - Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library | HathiTrust Digital Library. Nellallitea "Nella" Larsen, born Nellie Walker (April 13, – March 30, ), was an American novelist of the Harlem Renaissance. Working as a nurse and a librarian, she published two novels, Quicksand () and Passing (), and a few short stories.

Analyzing Nella Larsens Novel Quicksand English Literature Essay.

Nella larsen quicksand thesis

Print Reference this. Published: 23rd March, Disclaimer: This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers. However this is not the view suggested by Nella Larsen's novel Quicksand.

Larsen presents. Nellallitea "Nella" Larsen, born Nellie Walker (April 13, – March 30, ), was an American novelist of the Harlem grupobittia.comg as a nurse and a librarian, she published two novels, Quicksand () and Passing (), and a few short stories. Though her literary output was scant, she earned recognition by her contemporaries.

A revival of interest in her writing has occurred.

Quicksand Summary -