Passing - Passing Passing is a novel about race, sex, and...

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Passing Passing is a novel about race, sex, and sexuality which is written by Nella Larsen and published in 1929. Passing” tells a story of two very similar African American women and their two very different experiences of “crossing” the race line. However, passing is the main theme of the novel because when we consider it to mean pretending to be someone you are not, it can also refer to sexuality or class. Numerous characters in this novel “pass” in various ways. “Passing,” becomes the main conflict for the novel’s main character, Irene. Passing is narrated by Irene Redfield, the protagonist of Passing, who is a middle-class, light-skinned African-American woman who deplores passing. She is married to a doctor, with whom she has two sons, who is too dark to pass. Irene is somewhat self-consciously proud of her African heritage. Irene's life is going along as usual when she runs into a childhood friend. Her old friend's name is Clare Kendry. Clare Kendry is a light-skinned African-American woman who passes for white. In fact she is even married to a white doctor. From the beginning of the novel we are to see that the ability of “passing” is not only given by Larsen to Clare Kendry , but to Irene Redfield as well. Ironically, Irene runs into Clare at a rooftop restaurant where she herself is passing to evade the heat wave. Her intended brief glass of tea on the hotel terrace shows that Irene can and is willing to pass for white when the situation calls for and is needed. As stated in the book if they were to find that she was black they would have asked her in the most pleasant of manner to
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This note was uploaded on 04/26/2011 for the course BUS 562 taught by Professor Mikeorck during the Fall '08 term at Florida Southern College.

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Passing - Passing Passing is a novel about race, sex, and...

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