Chapter Summary : ' Irene ' Essay

1755 Words Nov 10th, 2015 8 Pages
Pages 17-18
“Instead, it was Irene who was put out. Feeling her colour heighten under the continued inspection, she slid her eyes down. What, she wondered, could be the reason for such persistent attention? Had she. In her haste in the taxi, put her hat on backwards? Guardedly she felt at it. No. Perhaps there was a streak of powder somewhere on her face. She made a quick pass over it with her handkerchief. Something wrong with her dress? She shot a glance over it. Perfectly all right. What was it?”
In this chapter of the novel, Irene is having a flashback to the time that her and Clare saw each other in Chicago, which prompted Clare to write the letter to Irene. Irene was going to eat at a restaurant before she was seen by Clare and when sitting at the table thought that she sensed people staring and judging her because of her race. Irene is at the restaurant, passing as white, so that she can enjoy a good time at the restaurant. Irene passes for white in this instance because as a black women, she would not be able to enjoy the experience of eating at a restaurant, side by side with white people, like she was doing. As Irene later states, she is not ashamed of her “Negro” race, she was worried that if her real race was exposed that she would be rudely kicked out of the fancy restaurant she was trying to enjoy herself at. This scene in the novel shows the struggle of Clare and Irene between race and how they truly feel. The main focus on the novel is the conflict between…

Related Documents