After Irene and Clare reconnect, they become fascinated with the differences in their lives. It dealt with issues of two African-American women who were childhood friends and had taken different paths of racial identification and marriage. If she could never be white like her mother and sister, neither could she ever be black in quite the same way that and his characters were black. As Pinckney writes: By virtue of her marriage, she was a member of Harlem's black professional class. The novel's close is deeply pessimistic.
In 1907-08, for the first time Larsen was living within an African-American community; but she was still separated by her own background and life experiences from most of the students, who were primarily from the South, with many descended from former slaves. She is napping before the party when Brian comes to wake her up and tell her it is time to get ready. The first two chapters introduce Irene Redfield and Clare Kendry, two African- American women who, because of their lighter skin tones, are able to pass as white. Just imagine what Irene must be feeling. Irene is about to faint when a friendly driver helps her into his car and offers to drive her to the Drayton, a white hotel, so that she can buy an iced tea. Though passing has not yet been brought up, the reader can already see the tension it causes. Clare went to live with her austere, white great-aunts, who held racist beliefs and wanted to instill a work ethic in their niece, whose father their nephew was the product of a white father their brother and a black mother.
The couple moved to in the 1920s, where their marriage and life together had contradictions of class. Her mixed parentage was not itself unusual in the black middle class. Surprised by this encounter, Irene reflects on the news and rumors that surrounded Clare after the death of Bob Kendry. In December, shortly before Christmas, Irene becomes aware that her husband has become inappropriately close to Clare. Irene identifies as a black woman, and married an African-American doctor named Brian; together they have two sons. In each of her moves, Crane fails to find fulfillment. Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers.
Irene was not fully comfortable with accepting Clare back into her life; in fact, Irene discussed the issue of racial identity with , a white traveler and author who sometimes appeared in Harlem society. She spends some time reflecting on the difficult natures of Theodore and of her husband, but soon finds that her thoughts gravitate to two of her fellow guests: a woman with a husky voice, and this woman's male companion. Since the late 20th century, Passing has received renewed attention from scholars because of its close examination of racial and sexual ambiguities and spaces. It is apparent that Irene is not pleased and remembers receiving a similar letter two years prior. Irene, realizing how dangerous this could be for Clare, pretends not to know John. As it opens, she has become engaged to marry a prominent Southern Negro man, whom she does not really love, but with whom she can gain social benefits.
Then open the file using Adobe Acrobat Reader. This line makes Irene flash back to the memory of that day, causing her embarrassment and pain. Struggling with , Larsen stopped writing. In Denmark she turns down the proposal of a famous white Danish artist for similar reasons, for lack of feeling. Gertrude, a light-skinned African-American woman, has also married a white man; although, her husband, Fred, is aware of her background and does not seem to mind. She also resolves that she will not see Clare again, under any circumstances.
We are here to help you as fast as we possibly can. We say at least two because what's interesting is that Irene is torn up about Clare. People had their speculations and interpretations as to why Larsen decided to return to nursing. Afterward, Clare sends Irene a letter thanking her for her visit, and Irene, furious does not respond. Two years later, Irene realizes she is not the only one who is susceptible to Clare's charms. GradeSaver, 23 November 2016 Web.
As she reaches the house of her father--who still lives in Chicago--Irene decides that she will keep the news of her unexpected meeting with Clare to herself. For starters, Irene is a lot like Clare. Irene is seen ruminating on Clare's risky ploys, visiting family, and shopping for the Redfield sons; Clare is actually undertaking risky ploys and strikes out independently, disregarding her family and relatives. Her father was likely a descendant of Henry or George Walker, white men from , who settled in the Danish West Indies about 1840. After the man leaves, Irene finds that the woman has begun to stare at her. She returned to New York in 1916, where she worked for two years as a nurse at Lincoln Hospital. The two women ran into one another purely by chance.
After her marriage, she sometimes used the name Nella Larsen Imes in her writing. The MonkeyNotes Download Store has no relation other than as an affiliate selling products through Amazon. Larsen's novel describes Brian's ambivalence around the medical field. There she is disillusioned by the people's adherence to religion. She worked her first year as a librarian at the Seward Park Branch on the , which was predominantly Jewish.
Her father died soon after she was born. This chance meeting alerted Bellew that Irene was black. Irene's thoughts eventually return to the letter immediately in front of her; she opens the envelope and begins to read. At first Irene does not recognize the blond beauty, but as they begin to speak Irene realizes exactly who this beautiful woman is. In her travels she encounters many of the communities which Larsen knew. It shows the damages and the harms that permanent passing can cause.