Life In Nella Larsen's Passing

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Looking at Passing, through the lens of historicism it can be said that Nella Larsen has depicted her life in both characters, Irene and Clare. Before renaming herself in to Nella Larsen, she was born with Nellie Walker. Walker the surname of her father, in which Larsen stated that when she was only 2 her father died. This is proven through Thadious M. Davis biographical data in which he states, “In an autobiographical sketch written for her publisher in 1926, Larsen says her father died when she was two years old”. Later on, Larsen’s mother, Marie Walker, remarried a man of her own race and nationality named, Peter Larsen.
Reading Nella Larsen’s Passing and reading about her own life, it can be said that larsen has had quite a similar
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In Larsen’s Passing, Larsen includes the conflict between Irene’s husband and Clare, where Irene suspects that her husband is having an affair with with Clare. According to Davis’ studies, he reveals that Nella Larsen got married Elmer Imes in May 3,1919. Then in 1933, Larsen decided to divorce him because she had known that he was having an affair with one of the Fisk University's’ Administrative staff. On the other hand, Passing also includes something similar to this. Irene starts suspecting that Clare is trying to get her man away from her because when they Irene and Brian were together, he was not himself. In the story, Irene felt that “He was discontented, yet there were times when she felt he was possessed of some intense secret satisfaction,”. (pt.3) This quote conveys the idea that Irene is starting to become suspicious of Brian, because the part where she says “ he was discontented’ gives it away that Brian is not happy anymore. Whenever a man feels this way with their wife and has been seeing other women, it is because they don’t feel the same tension that the guy feels with his new women. It is ironic how in the story, Irene’s husband, Brian, is cheating on her, similar to Larsen’s situation where her husband had an affair with one of the staff where he
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