Nella Larsen Passing Analysis

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Nella Larsen’s Passing is a novella about the past experiences of African American women ‘passing’ as whites for equal opportunities. Larsen presents the day to day issues African American women face during their ‘passing’ journey through her characters of Irene Redfield and Clare Kendry. During the reading process, we progressively realize ‘passing’ in Harlem, New York during the 1920’s becomes difficult for both of these women physically and mentally as different kinds of challenges approach ahead. Although Larsen decides the novella to be told in a third person narrative, different thoughts and messages of Irene and Clare communicate broken ideas for the reader, causing the interpretation of the novella to vary from different perspectives.…show more content…
While reading one of Clare’s letters, the narrator doesn’t properly communicate the actual description of the message as it sends two different interpretations to the readers. Not to mention that the phone calls between Clare and Irene also fails to communicate both viewpoints as the narrator only mentions one side of the direct discourse. On that note, the direct and indirect discourses of their face to face conversation demonstrates two different conative discussions, giving us a better insight of their true characteristics. As the end approaches with a mysterious tragedy, we are to question Irene as her dialogue and interpretation ineffectively matches the reader’s perspective, due to her outlook bordering between accidental and intentional motives. With the characters and narrator using different methods of communication, such as the letters, phone calls, and in person conversations, it leads us to question their integrity and whether the discourse accurately represents the climactic fallouts of the
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