Search For Meaning In Nella Larsen's Passing

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In a conversation about passing, Clare describes how she successfully passes over and what exactly it is that makes her so successful in doing so. Irene, curious to know how, asks these questions because she cannot believe the fact that Clare has abandoned her background and where she comes from. She then comes to the conclusion that as Clare has no background to present to the white community, she must have made up stories. In Passing, the author Nella Larsen enhances this passage in numerous ways in order to provide meaning. The importance of this conversation is emphasized by the diction used to create significant meaning, the supporting of themes presented throughout the novella, and the details regarding arising conflicts throughout the novella. To begin, diction…show more content…
Furthermore, a common theme seen throughout the novella is appearance vs. reality. Passing in itself is a form of deception constantly being presented by mulatto women in the novel, more often than not, Clare Kendry, when earlier it is said “there were things that she wanted to ask Clare Kendry. She wished to find out about this hazardous business of passing.” (17) This passage enhances the theme of deception as well as passing. The author uses Clare to inform readers how “frightfully easy” passing is and not much background is needed to fit into the white community due to the fact that “there are so many more of them… they are secure and so don’t have to bother” (17). In conclusion, when describing the process of passing, the author uses different techniques to provide insightful meaning to the passage. Doing so is emphasized by the diction used to create significant meaning, the supporting of themes presented throughout the novella, and the details regarding arising conflicts throughout the
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