This Will Be My Undoing Setting & Symbolism

Morgan Jerkins
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Harlem

After graduating from Princeton, Jerkins moves to Harlem to live on her own. She writes articles and opinion pieces for several publications, including Elle.com, while she works as an editorial assistant and associate editor. Jerkins describes Harlem's streets as a place where blackness is visible, and nevertheless she does not feel as if she truly belongs, since she is socioeconomically mobile and college educated. She wonders if her presence in the city may also contribute to its gentrification. Her worries addressed by a fellow writer and neighbor, Alexander, who tells her that blackness and Harlem are everywhere.

While in Harlem, she is catcalled by men on the streets, and must mediate between the notion that she is highly visible, although her desires and subjectivity are erased in place of the needs of the male cat caller. During one instance next to a corner store, she is...

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This section contains 1,675 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the This Will Be My Undoing Study Guide
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