“The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett
The Vanishing Half, written by Brit Bennett, is devoted to showing racial discrimination issues through different generations. One of the most illustrative connections with racial prejudices is depicted through the relationships between Stella and Loretta. The first character’s racial identity is questionable because her family is originally black. However, Stella managed to escape the world of discrimination and find a prosperous husband. Loretta is a black woman who actively fights discrimination and tries to claim her rights as equal to white people. Through depicting their relationships, the author shows the personal struggles of Stella and her specific racial identity.
The tragic past of Stella in Mallard significantly influenced her perception of skin color and related bullying. She is afraid to be associated with black people because it was difficult for her to go through the harassment in her hometown. However, deep in her soul, she realizes that discrimination and the limitation of the rights of black people are the ultimate evil. Therefore, she unconsciously longs to build a friendship with the only black woman in her district (Bennett 149). Stella considers Loretta as the only person who can truly understand her sorrow. However, after being accused of defamatory connection with black people, Stella decides to abandon her moral intention of becoming a good friend of Loretta. Stella is scared to feel the same emotions as she did back in Mallard. By implementing this episode in narration, the author depicts Stella’s broken will and moral weakness. In terms of more wide implicit meaning, the friendship of Stella and Loretta shows the destructive power of discrimination. It forces people to be afraid of expressing their feeling and racial identities.
Bennett, Brit. The Vanishing Half. Riverhead Books, 2020.