The Role Of Deception In Nella Larsen's Passing

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1920’s society offered a prominent way for blacks that look white to exploit its barrier and pass in society. Visible within Nella Larsen’s Passing, access to the regular world exists only for those who fit the criteria of white skin and white husband. Through internal conflict and characterization, the novella reveals deception slowly devours the deceitful. In Passing, Clare and Irene both deceive people. They both engage in deceit by having the ability to pass when they are not of the proper race to do so. Both Clare and Irene are black: Clare looks the part while Irene looks like she’s a mix of white ethnicities rather than black. Irene’s ability to pass is the way she looks like other races and uses this to allow her to get to the top

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