Passing-MP2 EC Justin Wong
The theme of "Passing" by Nella Larsen is the idea of finding ones identity, sense of belonging, and stability and security.
"Did that woman, could that woman, somehow know that here before her very eyes on the roof of the Drayton sat a Negro?"
What's up Nig!
"You don't know, you can't realize how I want to see Negroes, to be with them again, to talk with them, to hear them laugh."
When Irene first re-encounters Clare at the Drayton, she is shocked to see that Clare is pretending to pass as a white woman and the other white ladies don't even know that she is actually black.
When Clare invites Irene and their friend Gertrude to a tea party, Clare's husband, John Bellew, straight out calls her Nig while thinking that she is white. The fact that Clare has been lying to her husband about her identity shocks Irene and Gertrude.
"So you're a nigger, a damned dirty nigger!"
Clare shows up at Irene's home and she wants to go to the Negro Welfare League Dance because she yearns to be with her kind once again and to feel that acceptance.
"Is she-is she-?"
After a while, Irene suspects that her husband, Brian, is having an affair with Clare and she knows that this would ruin the stability and security of her family. Within just a short amount of time Irene's life has changed.
While at Irene's friend's house, Felise, Clare's husband shows up and finds out her true identity of being black. This is what Clare had wanted in the end. In spite of this, Irene pushes Clare out the window to her death in order to protect the future of her family.
It was then when Brian put his coat around Irene and this resembled the protection and security of Irene's family that was given now that Clare was gone.
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