Passivity In African American Literature

1235 Words 5 Pages
With all of the racial discrimination, African Americans struggled with their identity. Identity was a concern that many novels in African American literature discussed. Mainly, African Americans struggled within themselves to find out who they really were in these novels. They were passive and let others control their lives. They often have problems with figuring out who they want to be as well. In many of these novels in African American literature, an underlying theme is passivity. Others controlled their lives. This may be related to their identity crisis. They did not realize they were being passive, however. Most of the time, this was unintentional. When these novels were written, there was very much discrimination towards African Americans. …show more content…
In this novel, passivity took over Janie, the main characters’, life immediately. She at first let her grandma control. Gradually, this becomes the norm for her character. She also has husbands, which control pretty much every aspect in her life. Though, in the end, she overcomes this passivity. This is common in the novels written in the time period that this was written. Although not only is passivity relevant to African Americans, but to women as well. Especially in Hurston’s novel is there passivity within the woman’s …show more content…
Double-consciousness was a phrase coined by W.E.B. Du Bois in his novel The Souls of Black Folk and simply explains how African Americans feel like they function in America as well as being themselves, that there is a separation there. This makes it hard to develop a sense of self, or identity. These two coincide with each other. Du Bois believed that African Americans lived in a society that did not value them as equal. America was racially divided at this time, and African Americans did not know if they should act as themselves or someone else, that others wanted them to

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