Summary Of Passing By Nella Larsen

743 Words3 Pages
When faced with the obstacle of trying to find one’s self in a deteriorating world filled with racial Inequality based on skin color, patriarchal control, and female sexual repression in the pursuit of happiness, individuality gets distorted and sexual indeciviness erupts, causing a multitude of questioning about one’s own identity in relation to the rest of the world. Therefore, in the collection, The Complete Fiction of Nella Larsen, the main characters, Irene Redfield and Clare Kendry ,in Passing, are forced to face the sexual and racial repression in their own lives with the hope of establishing an identity away from the falsehood they are displaying to others around them Most importantly, Larsen, allows the characters, and the readers…show more content…
However, as the story evolves, the reader comes to the realization that the character, Irene, is controlling the story. This may seem uninteresting to some at first, but at a closer observation, you can witness Irene’s sexual curiosity through her candid description of Clare, when she first witnesses her at a restaurant , she states, “An attractive-looking woman, was Irene’s opininon, with those dark, almost black, eyes and that wide mouth like a scarlet flower against the ivory of her skin.”(Larsen, pg.177) Also, the description for sexual attraction both exhibit when locking eyes on one another, “Again she looked up, and for a moment her brown eyes politely returned the stare of the other’s black ones, which never for an instant fell wavered..She tried to treat the woman and her watching with indifference, but she couldn’t. All her efforts to her, were futile. She stole another glance. Still looking.”(Larsen, pg. 178)Even though, both characters having contrasting personalities, Irene is more reserved and Clare is more adventurous, Irene describes her “Stepping always on the edge of danger. Always aware, but not drawing back or turning aside”(Larsen,pg.172) showcases the vibrant desire that enhances the sexual and racial tension that exist among them. For example, Irene describes the invitation Clare sent her after their initial meeting, she states, “the long envelope of thin Italian paper..out of place and alien. And there was, too, something mysterious and slightly furtive about it.”(Larsen,pg.
Open Document