Race and Birdie Essay

1884 Words Apr 4th, 2013 8 Pages
"Lost in Caucasia": an essay on the novel Caucasia by Danzy SennaAds by GoogleAssociate Nursing Courses www.keiser-education.com
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This is an essay I wrote for a Women's Studies course I took in University. When writing an essay or an assignment for school the hardest part for me was figuring out where to start. I believe that getting a few ideas by seeing examples and reading other peoples essay's always helped me figure out how I would write my own essay and how to get started. That is why I decided to share my essay with all of you. Hope this helps!

Caucasia: A Novel by Danzy Senna
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Caucasia: A novel by Danzy Senna
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The character of Birdie resembles that of a chameleon, constantly taking on the colour of those around her in an attempt to become invisible. This racial performance shifts through Birdie’s journey as she attempts to fit in with the “white” teenagers in New Hampshire. Birdie begins to act, talk, and dress like the New Hampshire teens and as a consequence begins to disappear into “Caucasia” (the white nation) and her falsified identity of Jesse Goldman. As hooks points out, for white people there is an assumption and fantasy of safety (hooks, p.340). This can be seen in Sandy Lee’s assumption that she can easily disappear into whiteness, which she takes for granted. Despite Sandy’s rejection of her history of white privilege, she always has the safety in knowing that she has the option of disappearing into the safety of whiteness. For Birdie disappearing into whiteness does not denote “safety”, it signifies losing herself and her true identity. Birdie must contain and compromise her own true identity in order to have this “pretense of invisibility”. Eventually, Birdie’s loss of her true identity drives her to flee New Hampshire and remove her “mask”. “I wondered… if I too would forever be fleeing in the dark, abandoning parts of myself that I no longer wanted, in

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