Passing by Nella Larsen

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English Class Passing! While reading Passing by Nella Larsen the reader is often faced with the many differences between its two main characters Irene Redfield and Clare Kendry. Clare and Irene where friends when little but due to the death of Clares' father they both got separated. Both Clare and Irene can pass as white although both are originally black; the difference between them is that Clare decided to pass fully as white unlike Irene who passes occasionally. While reading this book the reader can determine that Clare is a demanding and selfish women while Irene is more of a judgmental and bipolar woman. Clare is a demanding women because she feels as if everything should be or go her way. She marries a very racist white man who has no clue that she has negro blood running inside her veins and if he ever knew of this he might have never had married her although her appearance is as if she was purely white. Clare's biggest fear is that her husband one day gets to find out her true identity. Clare believes that things have to go her way otherwise it wouldn't work at all. “Clare always had a – a – having way” (p.20) meaning that she always made her way through and got what she wanted which was somehow unlikeable by Irene because she had felt somehow controlled by Clare at times. Clare was also a very selfish person who always looked for what was best for her and nobody else and this was reflected by the way she acted towards her daughter. Clare is often identified as selfish and impulsive. She does not think of others and how they feel as an outcome of her actions because she only cares about herself and on how she can please herself at the moment. She really doesn't what race she is being seen as because it only depends on the moment, on how she is feeling and which is best for her. Clare said once that “being a mother is the cruelest thing in the

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