Summary Of Jessie Fauset's 'The Plum Bun'

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Harlem Renaissance The Harlem Renaissance was an era of a creative explosion that took place in the African American society between 1920 and fading out before the Depression era. Although Harlem, New York was the center of the African American cultural Renaissance, the geographical boundaries could not always be clearly distinct. The writers, poets, musicians and artists of that period came from all over the country, especially the south to escape the racial prejudices and the oppressive caste and class system. Blues and Jazz that were an integral part of the movement originated in places like New Orleans, St. Louis, Mississippi Delta. Writers, Poets and authors from cultural movements in other places like Los Angeles, Dallas, and Atlanta. …show more content…
Jessie Fauset was one of the intelligent female authors of the Harlem Renaissance and was a poet, an editor, essayist and a novelist much like Hughes. Fauset too deals with the issues of racism and racial prejudice among the blacks. But her main focus is on black pride, especially in her novel, ‘The Plum Bun’ published in 1923. In the novel, Fauset uses the protagonists Angela and Virginia Murray to talk about black pride. While Virginia is distinctly Negroid, moves into Harlem, taught black kids and marries a black man, Angels with more Caucasian features tries to be white. Eventually, she realizes who she is and marries a mulatto. Fauset says, “There are some things which an individual might want, but which he 'd just have to give up forever for the sake of the more important whole (Fauset 69).” This passage sums up the beliefs of Fauset. She says that black pride is much bigger than the individual or what the individual might want and that sacrifices must be made to keep the pride in one’s race. She also talks about the self-respect that comes along with being proud of your identity. Virginia then becomes an example of Fauset’s idea of what black people should do, they should accept who they are and get on with building their life, just as a white American would do. Fauset continues the theme of racial pride in her other novels such as ‘Chinaberry Tree’ and ‘Comedy, American Style”. Jessie Fauset believed …show more content…
She took pride in the African-American culture and the practices of the people from the south that retains some of Africa in it. Hurston uses a lot of references to this traditional way of living and rituals in her works in order to tell others that she is not ashamed of her roots and neither should they be. Rather, they should have self-pride as well as racial pride (black pride). This can be seen in one of her novels, “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, where Nanny tells Janie about not just self-dignity and pride but of a pride that comes out of being a black woman. She asks Janie to make use of the opportunities and be proud of her heritage, something that she could not do herself. Nanny says, “Ah was born back in slavery so it wasn’t for me to fulfill my dreams of whut a woman oughta be and to do. Dat’s one of de hold-backs of slavery ...Ah been waitin’ a long time, Janie, but nothin’ Ah been through ain’t too much if you just take a stand on high ground lak Ah dreamed (Hurston 56)." Hurston portrayed black people not as victims oppressed by the white society but as strong people who were proud of their race and culture. She was influenced in this by her very unique upbringing in a black settlement in Florida and having strong role models in her parents. In “Jonah’s Gourd Vine”, a disguised biography of her parents, Hurston establishes black pride through the Protagonist John, who lives in a different

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