GRE Reading Comprehension
Paule Marshall's Brown Girl, Brownstones (1959) was a landmark in the depiction of female characters in Black American literature. Marshall avoided the oppressed and tragic heroine in conflict with White society that had been typical of the protest novels of early twentieth century. Like her immediate predecessors, Zora Neale Hurston and Gwendolyn Brooks, she focused her novel on an ordinary Black woman's search for identity within the context of a Black community. But Marshall extended the analysis of Black female characters begun by Hurston and Brooks by depicting her heroine's development in terms of the relationship between her Barbadian American parents, and by exploring how male and female roles were defined by their immigrant culture, which in turn was influenced by the materialism of White America. By placing characters within a wider cultural context, Marshall attacked racial and sexual stereotypes and paved the way for explorations of race, class, and gender in the novels of the 1970's.
According to the passage, Hurston, Brooks, andMarshall are alike in that they
- A did not examine the effects of White culture ontheir characters' lives
- B were heavily influenced by the protest novels ofthe early twentieth century
- C used Black communities as the settings for theirnovels.
- D wrote primarily about the difficulties their char-acters encountered in White culture
- E wrote exclusively about female characters andthe experiences of women
Correct Answer: C