Southern Renaissance and Harlem Renaissance: Glasgow / Welty / Fauset / Larsen / Cullen

Glasgow – Reading and Review Questions:

  1. What does the title “Dare’s Gift” mean?
  2. How is Mildred affected by past events in the house, according to Dr. Lakeby? How does Dr. Lakeby present the events in the house as scientific rather than supernatural? Does he believe his own explanations?
  3. Examine the theme of betrayal in the story.
  4. How are Mildred’s and Lucy’s decisions and actions similar or different?
  5. Why does Lucy have no memory of her decision to turn in her fiancé?
  6. What role does the past play in the story, especially the past as represented by the Old South?

Welty – Reading and Review Questions:

  1. Do you think Phoenix Jackson’s grandson is still alive? Why, or why not?
  2. What is the significance of her name, Phoenix? Why is this important in the context of the story?
  3. How does Welty take the details of the mundane and transform them into the mystical?

Fauset – Reading and Review Questions:

  1. The story opens with Amy in a dressmaker’s shop trying on a new and expensive gown. What does the story’s fascination with costume suggest about Amy’s racial identity?
  2. How does Fauset’s treatment of Amy’s “awakening” compare to the presentation of race in the work of Nella Larsen and Zora Neale Hurston?
  3. Compare and contrast Amy’s relationships with other women in the story.

Larsen – Reading and Review Questions:

  1. Discuss why, after criticizing Jim Hammer for being “no ‘count trash,” Annie Poole still protects him.

Cullen – Reading and Review Questions:

  1. Compare and contrast Cullen’s views on poetry to those of Langston Hughes.
  2. How does Cullen use traditional literary forms to critique the position of African-American poets?
  3. Analyze Cullen’s portrayal of African, American, and European cultures as those cultures collided during the Harlem Renaissance. How does Cullen’s poetry explore these cultural intersections?


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American Literatures After 1865 Copyright © by Scott D. Peterson; Amy Berke; Robert Bleil; Jordan Cofer; and Doug Davis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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