This section is narrated in a way that is intended to make Clare seem cold and selfish. I finally made up my mind that I would neither disclaim the black race nor claim the white race; but that I would change my name, raise a mustache, and let the world take me for what it would; that it was not necessary for me to go about with the label of inferiority pasted across my forehead.
In Passing, Clare Kendry takes a risk, living without the comforts of her race and rebelling against the white-dominated, male-dominated society. Ultimately, as both characters veer towards destruction, Larsen deconstructs the very idea of identity.
And betraying her own desire to appear white. The advantages gained, as well as the price paid for passing during the time of slavery were physical in nature. Although Irene grips her arm, Clare suddenly falls to her death, and Irene refuses to remember the moment with any sort of clarity.
It may be easy to overlook this differential but a closer analysis of these two texts reveals that the social and psychological costs of passing are higher for women than for men.
He described his experience in these words: Feeling safe and secure, she is even waited on by black servants. She was bound to her by those very ties of race which, for all her repudiation of them, Clare had been unable to completely sever The thing that bound and suffocated her.
Later in the novel however she changed her tone and started to tell the horrors of passing. This psychological longing was the fee that this narrator paid for crossing the color line.
Towards the end of the novel, Irene expresses the wish that she had not been born black at all: Nella Larsen knew that her novel, therefore, responded to the times by addressing the tragic mulatto story, but that it differed largely from other stories by addressing something other novelists had rarely touched upon: Clare would no longer be accepted into white society since she is black and she will not be accepted into the African American community either because it is the same community and lifestyle she rejected so long ago.
Works Cited Johnson, James W. Without an oppressive slave-master to inflict punishment for this type of activity, the benefits seemed to outweigh the risks. Passing is not a modern phenomenon. Although Little asserts that Larsen implies that there is no black community for Clare to return to Irene provides the proof that although she may not approve of what Clare is doing they are still bound together by the ties of race.
Even though this may be the case, the Negro narrator passed as a white man without effort and usually without fear of being caught. Mystery Woman of the Harlem Renaissance. What kind of a Negro would you make now, especially in the South.
The following paragraphs examine Clare and Irene separately, analyzing the way they view each other as carriers of racial and gender identity, and how Larsen deconstructs those through ambiguous writing or plot devices.
Clare continues to spend time with Irene and decides that she wants to start spending more time in the black community with Irene. Passing, therefore, is a modernist commentary on the fleetingness of gender and racial identity. Like her characters, she struggles with identification and finally veers towards self-destruction, if not towards her body, then towards her self-professed identity as a novelist.
After living at home, Larsen became devoted to studying the rift between black and white. Thematic Analysis This quote seems pretty simple, right. By expressing the mulatto as dangerous instead of tragic, Larsen flouts the identity most associated with the mulatto, showing that trying to identify identity is not only futile, but fatal.
For Clare, passing has become her identity since she has structured her life including her family on the premise that she is white. Clare, an African American character in Nella Larsen’s Passing, referred to a comment made by her racist white husband, saying that “everything must be paid for” (Larsen, 71).
Throughout the book, this comment was especially poignant in terms of passing. Crossing the color-line has always been risky.
Jan 16, · Nella Larsen’s Passing The concept of racial passing may seem outdated since African Americans have essentially gained equality in white society but the topic of passing covers more than race.
In modern society the passing that occurs most often is a homosexual person passing for straight. darkly, 'worse'" (Larsen ). Clare lives a wonderful life, and Irene lives the "white" life vicariously though Clare after they meet again in later life.
In fact, both the women turn their backs on their roots and live troubled lies, which eventually leads to mental deterioration in Irene and the accidental (or is it') death of Clare. Nella Larsen Essay Examples.
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An Analysis of the Root of Jealousy in Nella Larsen's Passing PAGES 2. WORDS 1, View Full Essay. More essays like this: the root of jealousy, nella larsen, irene redfield, clare kendry.
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By choosing to portray the black woman as an outsider in Passing, Nella Larsen conveys a dilemma with which many readers could identify.
Larsen’s mother was white, her father was black, and for a while she did not know where she belonged.An analysis of the root of jealousy in nella larsens book passing