"The inheritance of blood first”
Rountree, Emma Eileen
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This thesis examines the way three white women writers from Georgia portrayed miscegenation and mixed-race female characters by utilizing the literary trope of the “tragic mulatta,” with the purpose of determining how Southern white women viewed these subjects in the first half of the twentieth century. The three novels discussed are A Son of Carolina by Genie Orchard Stovall (1909), White-Blood by Vara A. Majette (1924), and Strange Fruit by Lillian Smith (1944). Using textual analysis of the ways in which characters speak of miscegenation and the ways in which the authors portray the “tragic mulatta” characters, historical insights into the ways in which white Southern women viewed miscegenation can be gleaned. Most significantly, this thesis shows that these authors all placed the blame for interracial sex on white men, as opposed to the more traditional narratives of the black male rapist or the black female seductress.