The novel is about issues that affect women living in America. Issues indicated and discussedin the book include issues on gender, sexuality and the general welfare of women who live in America. When the book was written, these were the issues that the mixed-race woman in America experienced (Hutchinson, 56). Race, sexual identity and identification were issues that have been studies in the past and seen to have brought much effect on women, and particularly countries that they feel oppressed. Nella earned recognition writing about these issues which many can relate with. Nella travelled to many places, among them Naxos, Denmark and New York. In all of these places, she came to experience things that she loves, despised and that made an impact on her (Larsen, 102).
Crane, a fictional character chosen to represent the writer, experiences many things. She teaches at Naxos, which is a Southern Negro boarding school. Here, she expects equality. She has the hopes that equality will be provided. She strives for social equality to be provided and hopes that the place will enable her to achieve social equality. She hopes that the community will advocate for social equality. She leaves the place that she originally was in order to find a place that has people who will make her feel at home (Larsen & Deborah, 17). What she lacks in this place as indicated in the previous paragraph, is social equality. She gets to criticize the sermon given by a white preacher. The preacher does not advocate for social equality, a thing that makes her sad to realize. She becomes dissatisfied with Naxos philosophy. The preacher advocates for the separation of blacks into separate schools, saying that their need to have social equality granted to them is not of concern.
She leaves Naxos after seeing that the place does not have her best interests at heart and decides to seek her interests elsewhere. She quits teaching and moves to Harlem, New York. She finds the place refined and suited to her tastes and beliefs. She moves there looking for a home, a place that she can relate to people. She moves there looking for what she lacked in her previous place of residence; social equality and a place where people are welcoming. She seeks to find ways to integrate her mixed ancestry with the people (Davis, 89).
One thing that she gets is that the place is refined, and to her she has found a place. But then she sees that the place lacks one thing that she needs; the race problem. She finds that the hypocritical black middle class as she calls them are obsessed with the race problem. She fails to find fulfillment in all the places that she visits while in New York. She finds herself disillusioned by the people, who are adherent to religion. She lacks to find the ways in which she can integrate her mixed ancestry with the people (Shaw, 67).
In Denmark, she had stayed there with the hopes that the community accepts her for who she is. She lived there before moving on to other places in order to look for a place that has no any objection to her race, color or origin. She hoped the community would accept her for who she is.
She lacks the love and affection that she needs in a place that she lived for quite a while. She visits Denmark with the intention of finding people who will make her feel at home. This is a concept that the people she seeks to find do not know. There is too much social inequality, gender biasness and the general feeling of being unwanted in the place. She is not able to find love and affection that she needs from the people (Larsen, Charles and Marita, 45).
Davis, Thadious M. Nella Larsen, Novelist of the Harlem Renaissance: A Womans Life Unveiled. Baton Rouge, La: Louisiana State University Press, 1996. Print.
Hutchinson, George. In Search of Nella Larsen: A Biography of the Color Line. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006. Internet resource.
Larsen, Nella. Quicksand. New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969. Print.
Larsen, Nella, Deborah E. McDowell, and Nella Larsen. Quicksand ; And, Passing. New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press, 1986. Print.
Larsen, Nella, Charles R. Larson, and Marita Golden. The Complete Fiction of Nella Larsen. New York: Anchor Books, 2001. Internet resource.
Shaw, Harry B. Perspectives of Black Popular Culture. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1990. Print.