Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Where did Harlem go?

Amber Quinlan 
Christie Beveridge 
Language Arts 
5 March 2013

Through out this reading of African American Criticism, unlike many of the other readings in this book, I agreed with what Lois Tyson was saying. Before reading this theory about Fitzgerald being racist, It didn’t seem like he was being racist. After I thought about The Great Gatsby with this knowledge it seemed racist when Nick refers to the African Americans in the limo,”Three modish Negros.. a limousine driven by a white chauffeur” because he is pointing in out that the African Americas are bring driven around by a white chauffeur shows that Fitzgerald is being racist, but that is not where is stops. If you look though the history and the time period Harlem was a huge part of New York City, like Tyson said. “ The creative output of the Harlem Renaissance was, as we have seen, well known to white New Yorkers and to the Western world at large.... From a historical perspective, such a oversight is virtually impossible.” Thinking about why Fitzgerald did not at least mention Harlem, or where Jazz music came from, can be confusing, because there could be other reasons he didn’t put this piece of history in The Great Gatsby, but after looking at the history and knowing that he knew about Harlem, that makes it seem like he purposely left this out of his book. “Even the time Fitzgerald spent in Paris contributed to his awareness of Harlem... African Americans many of whom were from Harlem, established an expatriate artists’ colony in Paris.” Especially when the book is a representation of this time period, it is hard to think of a explanation as to why Fitzgerald left Harlem out of his book when everything else he had written about was a valid representation of this time period. Are there any other reasons Fitzgerald would have left Harlem out of his book? Are there any other important parts of history that Fitzgerald left out in The Great Gatsby?

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