Analysis Of The Book ' Passing `` She Tells The Story Of A Two Mixed Race Friends '

839 Words Nov 11th, 2015 4 Pages
In Nella Larsen’s novel, “Passing” she tells the story of a two mixed race friends, Irene and Clare, one of which accepts her heritage while the other hides it by passing as a white woman. Throughout their conversation, they discuss their lives, but most importantly Clare’s descent to passing as a white woman in society. Their differences in lifestyle choices are clearly displayed, the lives they lead completely different than the other and by showing this comparison Larsen’s tries to show to cultural appropriation of women in the 1920’s. There are many factors as to why someone would make the choice to claim a better livelihood, and in this novel Larsen explores the differences that both women experience in their communities and the lives that each of them lead. This excerpt from the full novel exhibits the truths of how mixed race women, as well as men, tried to hide the racial heritage in order to gain status in society. In Werner Sollors novel, “Neither Black nor White yet Both” he defines passing being used, “most frequently as if it were short for ‘passing for white’ in the sense of crossing over the color line in the U.S. from black to the white side”. Although, the benefits of passing may be incredibly appealing, such as wealth and privilege, Larsen attempts to refute this idea of portraying Clare as the complete opposite of Irene. Irene would sometimes use her skin tone to pass off as white, but she would not even consider the potential of living her whole life…

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