Passing Nella Larsen Analysis

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Security in a Middle-Class Afro-American Society There have always been struggles of the black minority in a predominant white society. Living in this stereotypical and racist society makes the attempt of surviving for the colored particularly strenuous and hard. In Nella Larsen’s social novel, Passing, there are many instances of survival among the colored community within the predominant white society. Ignoring the want of freedom, Irene strives for security and proper image, in order to maintain a sense of acceptance in this middle-class environment. The acceptance in the society and the search of identity in the novel touches on many issues that continue to plague the female protagonist along with her double-sided life which consists…show more content…
The reason being, she noticed other children, a little more aged, speaking about subjects such as sex in front of them. Irene thinks she can insure her sons a happy childhood by keeping "the race problem" hidden from them. However the huband opposes her idea of restraining the children from these facts. Brian asks," 'What was the use of our trying to keep them from learning the word 'nigger' and its connotation? They found out, didn't they? And how? Because somebody called Junior a dirty nigger'"(83) . Observed in the scene where he refuses to avoid discussing sex with Ted and Junior, he insists on telling his sons the facts of life, including the ugly fact of racism. Another issue raised was the fact that Irene continuously tries to persuade Brian into doing the things she wants in order to feel safe. Brian insisted on going to Brazil because of his knack to experience a more adventurous, freer, and less racist society. Irene opposes this notion to “get away”, and prevents him from expressing his desires because she believes she had made too many sacrifices in order for her and her beloved ones to live in this middle-class environment. She could not give up the life she had, to go away and start up a new

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