Category: african american literature

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Whiteness in Ann Petry’s “The Street”

Over the last few posts I’ve been looking at the American Dream in Ann Petry’s The Street. Specifically, I’ve examined the ways that Petry uses illusions in the Junto and during Lutie’s ride with Boots Smith as commentary on the mythic nature of the American Dream, the illusory nature of the dream for an African American woman such as Lutie. At the core of … Read More Whiteness in Ann Petry’s “The Street”

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The American Dream in Ann Petry’s “The Street”: Part III

Over the last couple of posts, I have been looking at the illusion of the American Dream in Ann Petry’s The Street. Today, I want to continue that discussion by finishing my examination of Lutie’s first visit to the Junto in the novel. During her time at the Junto, the illusion of the space, a space that provides an escape from the oppression of … Read More The American Dream in Ann Petry’s “The Street”: Part III

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The American Dream in Ann Petry’s “The Street”: Part II

Last post, I started talking about the ways that Ann Petry confronts the mythological American Dream in her novel The Street. Today, I want to continue that discussion, specifically focusing on chapter six when Lutie goes to the Junto Bar & Grill. In this chapter, the Junto, as it does throughout the novel, serves as an escape from the crushing poverty and oppression that … Read More The American Dream in Ann Petry’s “The Street”: Part II

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The American Dream in Ann Petry’s “The Street”: Part I

Like a lot of the texts that I teach in my classes, I hadn’t read Ann Petry’s The Street before I assigned it in this semester’s Multicultural American Literature course. The only work, up to this point, that I had read from Petry was her short story “Like a Winding Sheet.” A few years back, Keith Clark started talking to me about The Street, … Read More The American Dream in Ann Petry’s “The Street”: Part I

Who is the Villain in Ernest J. Gaines’ “A Gathering of Old Men”?

Recently, I had a conversation with Jennifer Morrison, for my Multicultural American Literature class, on Ernest Gaines’ A Gathering of Old Men. At one point, we began talking about Fix and the ways that Gaines represents him, specifically through the eyes of an outsider to the community, Sully. This topic led me to eventually ask, “Who is the villain in the novel?” On the … Read More Who is the Villain in Ernest J. Gaines’ “A Gathering of Old Men”?