Analysis Of If He Hollers Let Him Go

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If He Hollers Let Him Go by Chester Himes touches on many ideas of race relations: the tension between African Americans and whites, interracial sex, and the social stress that was put on by World War II. Alice, having lighter skin, uses it to her advantage and passes as a white woman. She always completely dismisses her black side to the point where she is not oppressed like other, darker skinned, African Americans. Madge, on the other hand, is a white woman and knows how to use that to her advantage as she gains power over Bob. Both characters use race' class='brand-secondary'>race as a way to describe their identity. One is powerful and another is hiding behind a mask. Another way that Alice and Madge are similar, are ashamed of reaching outside of their bubble.
Alice
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When she first is confronted by the problem or race it hits her with a thump. Bob takes Alice to dinner where she states, “I don’t want feel like being refused” (55). Alice does what she can to avoid the face of racism. She lacks the integration within the different community, which gives her a one-path perspective. While going to the restaurant with Bob, he asks, “Scared because you haven’t got the white folks to cover you” (55)? She doesn’t have the protection of her friends or her parents to shy away from the truth of her being African American. She is hiding behind a mask because she’s passing as white. She’s accepting the assumption that she belongs to their culture. When she goes out, “with white folks the people think you’re white” (60). But, when she goes out with Bob there is nothing to hide behind. She’s confronted with the truth. Already feeling low about the restaurant, and getting pulled over by the cops, she uses her wealth to get out of the situation. She says, “I am a supervisor in the Los Angeles Welfare” (63). The power of her family shows that she be treated better by the cops and others in the…show more content…
Madge, like her sister Elsie, has similar values with regards to the idea that the White are more divine, and pure because match the “White God” (133). They believe that blacks were there to serve the white ones and that will not change. She also states that there is segregation because, “the colored folks like to be by themselves” (132). She’s saying that there is no problem with racism because they like to keep to themselves and that it’s no better to mix. Alice thinks that it is best if she describes herself as a white because that is, in this society, the best version of her. Throughout the novel, she states to Bob that it is better to adjust because then you are getting approval from the whites. The best way to do this is to listen and do what they say instead of resisting. Just like Alice, whites are pure and divine because she doesn’t want to “jeopardize his future” (97), that Bob is doing trying to fight what already

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