Gender Trouble and the Tragic Black Woman Hybrids in Clotel, Quicksand and Passing




African-American, Black woman, Mulatta, Passing


The African-American female character's description in Clotel, Quicksand and Passing are very impressive, among whom Clotel, Clare and Irene are depicted as one of the most important “passing” figures for the whole story. Though sharing some similarities with the traditional Black women in the past African-American novels, Clotel, Clare and Irene are very different. The strong connection with as well as variations than the usual gender pattern are mixed within these women. It is only by this new approach that the reader can re-think Black woman and build a new African-American female identity. Taking into the consideration an ecofeminist point of view, this paper is going to study the points of similarities with and differences from the traditional Black Women in the novel, unwrap on the developing subject identity of Black women in this novel, in order to prove that in this novel female subject identity is more than a true representation of essentialism and dualism, in a special and unique realistic perspective.

Author Biography

  • Hayder Naji Shanbooj Alolaiwi, University of Craiova Faculty of Letters Department of Anglo-American and German Studies
    Hayder Naji Shanbooj is a Ph.D. student at the Faculty of Letters, University of Craiova, He participated in several conferences about English Literature. His research interests include American Literature, Multiculturalism, Racial studies. He is equally interested in studying cross-cultural studies and the study of religions and their representation in literature.


Carbado, W. Devon. (1999). Black Men on race, gender, and sexuality: A critical reader. New York: New York University Press. pp.1-2.

Davis, F. James. (2001). Who is black? one nation’s definition. University Park: Pennsylvania State University. p.60.

Du Bois, W. E. B. (1965). The Souls of Black Folks. in Three Negro Classics. Edited by John Hope Franklin. New York: Avon Books. p.334.

Mgadmi M. (2009). Black women’s identity: Stereotypes, respectability and passionlessness (1890-1930) , Revue LISA/LISA e-journal, VII – n°1 :40-45 . doi : 10.4000/lisa.806. p.40.

Tischler, Nancy M. (1969). Black Masks: Negro Characters in Modern Southern Fiction. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. pp.97,158.

Tötösi de Zepetnek S. (1998). A New Comparative Literature as Theory and Method", in: ders.: Comparative Literature. Theory, Method, Application. Textxet: Studies in Comparative Literature, Vol. 18. Amsterdam/Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, pp.13–42.

Webb, Frank J. 1971. The Garies and Their Friends, New York: AMS Press. p.279.







Similar Articles

1-10 of 69

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.