Displace All Our Social Ills Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1463 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Family and Marriage

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[. . .] If Dick can be understood as a typical man, and Nichole as the modern woman bringing into the man's life resources for which he would traditionally seek, then the failure of the marriage, and the character flaws within Nichole are a quiet, politically incorrect subtext which suggests that a man cannot find happiness by receiving wealth, and security from a woman. The author seems to be saying that although the marriage is a fun and enjoyable union at the outset, that the couple needs to have more substance to their relationship, or else there will be too high a price to pay. Ultimately these two divorced and moved in different directions.

Another issue of heated debate during the first half of the 20th century was that of racism and the place of black Americans in the larger culture. Society was not yet ready to integrate, even though the civil war had feed blacks. The ensuing migration of blacks from the south to the north at the onset of the industrial revolution created new social pressured, and also created individuals of African heritage which appeared to be causation, and could become a part of 'white' America. (The terms used here are not used to condone the racial bigotry of the early 20th century, but to communicate an understanding of society's values.)

Clare and Irene, both black women who are the main characters in Passing by Nella Larson, were both women of African descent who could, and did pass themselves off as white Americans. Irene grew up in a middle class neighborhood, and turned her disdain toward her past. She did not want to revisit the segregation, nor the shame of her past, and therefore built a personal wall of anger between herself, and her past. Clare on the other hand grew up as a member of a cast off family. She was the daughter of a black man and white woman who did not have any heritage either. Caught in the bigoted no mans land between black and white, she grew up as poor white trash. Clare developed the same level of hatred toward whites that Irene felt for blacks. Even though both looked the same, and could move in the same social settings without creating any racial feelings. It was the inner motivations of these two women which the author used to illustrate the foolishness, and self-destructiveness of bigotry, and discrimination.

Eventually the two met, and in the climax of the book both of the women had to face their bigotry. They have to face the lies they have told themselves. They have to face the lies they have tried to live, ignoring their heritage. These were significant issues in the time of the Harlem Renaissance, which is the setting for this story. All around the women is evidence of the cultural heritage of the black American community, but these two women are Passing, dying because they have not death with their hatred and anger toward themselves.

Finally, Go tell it to the Mountain is the story of a young man's journey toward spiritual faith, and the issues which a man must address as he wrestles with conflict between living for himself, or choosing to live for a purposeful relationship with his God. In this story, the most positive portrait of women is painted, and women are shown as the important moderators of the home, and of social life.

The different women in this book are written into the typical injustices which women faced, such as rape, or the choice of a poor mate. However, throughout the book the women are those who contribute to the well-being of the main character, and influence his journey toward faith. John Grimes, the main character, finally makes a commitment to a religious life because of the character and virtues which are evidenced in the women around him.

This last picture is seldom seen in modern literature. Women are most often painted for the injustice they suffer, of the desires for advancement which are squashed by men, or by societal expectation. However, these storied do not give women the credit which they deserve for building into the emotional and collective consciousness of the community. In go tell in on the Mountain, the spiritual conversion of John Grimed is treated with surprising positive spin, and the women receive recognition for the contribution they made in… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Displace All Our Social Ills.  (2004, May 3).  Retrieved January 21, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/displace-social-ills/8459368

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"Displace All Our Social Ills."  3 May 2004.  Web.  21 January 2020. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/displace-social-ills/8459368>.

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"Displace All Our Social Ills."  Essaytown.com.  May 3, 2004.  Accessed January 21, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/displace-social-ills/8459368.