Quicksand

Quicksand cover

Quicksand is an important novel to discuss in this context, for Helga Crane’s character seems to always be motivated by anonymity. Unlike such figures as Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby who choose to keep a part of themselves anonymous, Helga Crane is in pursuit of anonymity but can hardly find it. She defines herself by her racial “otherness”, and spends the entire novel striving to find a place where she can simply be herself. As such, while moments of true anonymity are rare for Helga, her search to be more indistinguishable from her peers permeates through her entire story. With Helga Crane, we begin to see how anonymity, or lack thereof, can define one’s identity and self-perception.