Melanctha Essay

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In the following excerpt, Cohen presents his interpretation of Stein's linking of character traits with degree of skin color in "Melanctha," focusing on racism and its thematic implications.

Gertrude Stein always prided herself on her acute observations of human nature, a talent she attributed to her experimental training in psychology under William James and Hugo Munsterberg at Harvard. But by her own account of these experiments, she reveals an early penchant not so much to observe the individual instance as to categorize the larger type:

I was supposed to be interested in their reactions but soon I found that I was not but instead I was enormously interested in the types of their characters that is what I even then thought of the bottom nature of them and when in May 1898 I wrote my half of the report of these experiments I expressed the results as follows: "In...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 1,986 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Melanctha Study Guide
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Melanctha from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.