Irene Redfield Identity

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Irene Redfield starts the story off knowing her identity. She continues the story holding her identity tightly, and not bending from who she thinks she is, or what she thinks she is. She does not react well to change and likes things to be a certain way. Her problem in the story is not that she has not found her identity, but that she hasn 't done enough to develop her identity. She sees the world as black and white, and unlike Clare who sees the grey area, she is blinded to it. In the novel, the narrator says, "But Irene didn 't know and didn 't try to discover." (Larsen, 10), This quote represents how Irene isn 't trying to find herself, she just stays in the safe zone and doesn 't try to truly find her identity. She just stays with, what she perceives her identity…show more content…
Due to Clare coming into her life, Clare showed Irene the grey and made her envious of what Clare has and can have. Irene then becomes insecure and loses her balance, calculated identity. She becomes lost, and she doesn’t exactly know who she is any longer. The reader see’s that with this statement, “She was caught between two allegiances, different, yet the same. Herself. Her race. Race! The thing that bound and suffocated her. Whatever steps she took, or if she took none at all, something would be crushed. A person or the race… Nothing, she imagined, was ever more completely sardonic” (Larsen, 98). This statement shows the change in Irene, and how her identity becomes shaken. Irene has at the beginning of the book would have easily chose race, she has even expressed her dislike for Clare, and also Clare has had an affair with her husband. Though Irene now no longer see’s things as black or white, and see’s the complexity of the grey, is now unable to make a decision that was once easy. This confusion expresses the confusion Irene now has with her identity. Irene has passed before on occasion, but Clare has shown her more than she has ever known and has confused her. Making her lose her once stable
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