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The Souls of Black Folk Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Souls of Black Folk.
This section contains 334 words
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Themes

Dualism

In "Of Our Spiritual Strivings," Du Bois makes reference to the experience of "double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others." This concept of dual identity appears throughout the text in nearly every essay and is central to the author's goal in making the African-American condition understood. Du Bois contends that African Americans experience a split in self-concept because they are regarded with "contempt and pity" by the majority of their fellow Americans. As both "Negro" and American, black people are organized into public and private identities, neither regarded as whole by mainstream, white America. This theme extends into the contradictory nature of American policies toward black people during the time the work was written. For example, although as an African American in New England, Du Bois was able to attend Harvard University and was afforded many of the privileges of any...

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This section contains 334 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Souls of Black Folk Study Guide
Copyrights
The Souls of Black Folk from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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