Integrity And Desecurity In Irene Larson's Passing

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Irene Redfield, the protagonist in Nella Larson's “Passing”, exemplifies responsibility and insecurity over the course of her encounters with Clare. First, Irene does not know whether she wants to pass or not. Irene shows her uncertainty about passing when, “It gave Irene a little prick of satisfaction to recall, hadn’t got that by passing herself off as white. She herself had always had it” (45). The way this describes Irene’s attitude towards passing shows she cannot live without being accepted into the white community. Irene has always been passing as a white, but now her true identity is slipping out of her reach. Irene’s self doubt comes from passing as a white person and being accepted in the white society. One example of Irene’s indecision about passing appears when she is talking to Clare, “She said ‘It’s funny about passing.…show more content…
It excites our contempt and yet we rather admire it’” (97). This proves that Irene acts hypocritical on the subject of passing. She does not love it, yet she continues to pass as a white woman. Irene wants to be socially accepted in her life, as does everyone who passes. She decides to pass as a white woman and, while many people believe it, she knows in her heart that she not a white woman. Clare’s husband is baffled when he finds out he married someone who lied to him. This shows that the white society is not accepting of African Americans. In the world today, people do not accept members of the opposite race. When the north and south divided into two opinions of African Americans, it sparked a Civil War. Even when this war was over, whites did not socially accept African Americans. With all this being said, Irene’s situation can widely relate to the modern
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