An Analysis of 'The Street' by Ann Petry
Seminar paper from the year 2006 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,5, , language: English, abstract: Ann Petry, a female Afro-American novelist, published her novel The Street in 1946. The setting of this novel is Harlem in the 1940s. The story deals with the life and trials of the Mulatto woman Lutie Johnson and her struggle to find a place in this environment for herself and her son. Hence, The Street is also concerned with different aspects of urban life. Thus, one might also claim that Petry's novel is about portraying the difficulties a single coloured woman and mother had in Harlem, living on 116th Street in New York City. Apart from being an urban novel, Petry also captured the symbolic character of Harlem in The Street, namely that it is a '(...) symbol of the Negro's perpetual alienation in the land of his birth'. Hence, this novel also touches upon the topic of disillusionment in city life. In the following analysis, we will primarily deal with the last chapters of the novel and in particular with the end of the novel, which shows Lutie Johnson leaving Harlem and moving to Chicago. On the one hand, we will be concerned with the reasons and motifs why Lutie is disillusioned and finally leaves Harlem. On the other hand, we will deal with the implications and possibilities that Lutie's movement to Chicago brings with it.
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