A Critical Analysis Of The Novel Passing By Nella Larsen

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The remarkable novel Passing by the African American author Nella Larsen was published in 1929. Nella Larsen was born in Chicago to a black father from West Indiana a mother from Denmark. Her father left her when she was very young. Larsen faced racism even among her family since she was the only person with dark skin in her white family. She went to study nursing in Tennessee State University the only university that receives colored people at that time. Regarding literature at that time, there were a lot of slave biographies and freedom novels. Larsen’s Passing is a good example of this genra of literature.
The concept of Passing means when the person claims he belongs to a particular race that has political, economic and social advantages. The concept of passing gets back to ancient history, history of mixed identities, daily suffering, and deep conflict. A Lot of critics and historians agreed that thousands of people pass annually. And the concept of passing is not limited to adopt another identity permanently to escape from racism, poverty and slavery, but it also called for in temporary situations under certain
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It’s a risky behavior, which needs a powerful person. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the novel Passing by looking at the main character “Clare” and how she displayed power by passing from one community to another. When looking closely, the paper will show that there were moments of weakness and fear in the midst of all the power.
Clare’s light skin allowed her an exceptional opportunity to trick community regarding her original identity. She introduces herself as white person, for certain purposes. In the course of her journey of passing, Clare has some moments of weakness and another of power which is normal in every person’s life especially in her case with all these difficulties and challenges with completely different community, she become part of
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