Passing. Nella Larsen novel Passing was written in 1929 and reflected the truth she experienced herself for the questions of racial personality and hard integration of African Americans into the civilized culture.
On the whole, Passing is, as opposed to the title, the story of complete failing of two young girls who tried to split themselves using their company race and become normal citizens adopted by the contemporary society. One of them, Irene Westover Redfield, was a common rep of the middle class who experienced fears and soreness being among people and who "wanted only to be peaceful" because "security was the most important and desired part of life" (Larsen 235). All around the street she noticed disturbance and risk of impermanence, instability and lack of confidence. Those symptoms, as Neil Sullivan (26) investigates, testify to Irene's "inevitability of disintegrating subjectivity" and therefore not only circumstances themselves were obstacles on her way to integration and passing, but from the very starting, by her aspect and through lifetime she was never prepared to become an sufficient area of the community. For Irene, the reality was disgusting and she was disgusting to herself, she was uncomfortable in that simple fact.
Her good friend, Clare Kendry Bellew, doesn't appear to be a "Nig" (as her own man phone calls her playfully), but she has African routes and therefore all her account is a tale of inner discord, of bifurcation and insufficient perfectness, of wholeness. She battled since her early childhood, as was born in misery and privation, and furthermore lost her daddy (alcoholic janitor) and experienced to live on with her two white aunts, Sophistication and Edna, not a jot better than Cinderella's stepmother and sisters. From her early years she was required to work hard, and the aunts even tried to persuade her that physical labor was nothing but useful on her behalf. And at exactly the same time she needed to tolerate not only physical exploitation, but also moral tension because "loving" family never missed a technique to remind her where she was from and what she was like. But nevertheless she didn't make complaints against her life: "I had been, it was true, likely to earn my keep by doing all the housework, and most of the washing. But do you realize, 'Rene, that if it hadn't been for these people, I shouldn't have had a home on the planet? " (Larsen 158). Clare is referred to as truly light (as her name is translated) person trying to enjoy life and also to take from it, but again, from the beginning, she actually is doomed as she has no integrity in herself and can't find stableness neither at home nor exterior. Her man, a white financier John Bellew, leads on the control began by her aunts: he repeats over and over that he hated Negroes and that no Negroes can reside in his house: "When we were first wedded, she was as white as - as - well as white as a lily. But I declare she's gettin' darker and darker. I inform her if she don't look out, she'll awaken one of the days and find she's converted into a nigger, " he jokes (171). If Clare could simply ignore her origin and live a normal life of an white person, she may have found serenity and her place under sunlight. However the hostile attitude and moods of the nearest, aside from rest of the modern culture leaves no opportunity for her. She is punched by words, and she actually is constantly being lynched morally. Hence her end is set from the very start. Her passing is set - as, to certain level, the author uses the term not only in this is of merging of African People in america with the white community in the United States, but clearly in its colloquial so this means position for 'fatality'.
The two women' fates are firmly destined and one is utilized to tint a different one. They will vary, nonetheless they have much in common, and their lives consider interweave in strange, remarkable matter. The two persons conflicting each within herself can't help conflicting with other, and passions burning up between them have ambiguous nature. The uneasy circumstances have made them dubious and psychologically very sensitive, therefore by conversation they not only help one another to survive, but do help each other to diminish.
The matter is, assimilation is always a problem, even though all the circumstances are advantageous and the agreeing to party is actually adopting. A lot of things must be improved in your conscience, in your look of life, in your attitude to things of every day life and, broader, you view of the world. The question, furthermore, is the reason why you should forget your true id, why you have to learn your origin false and adapt to others. It is always difficult to put on with such injustice, no subject how hard you try, you will always stay the next form. Sometimes such subordination is concealed well, and with time you may just forget about all those issues. But when day after day you are reminded that you are mud blood ("nigger, " "nig, " "creature, " "boy, "), how much durability do you need to manage it? Especially as it happens to be unbearable for Clare who is already not belonging to the Black color community and neither is she one of the Whites. Then, negative reputation is regularly backed by media, these are accused of all most awful offences, and this prejudice based mostly only on the colour of their skin is being propagate from family to family, from technology to generation. The cycle with no way to avoid it. Or, to become more precise, with the only path out chosen by Clare - the entry to liberty through the window.
In the meantime her dependence on recognition was higher than Irene's. Clare activities "deliberate courting of attention" (203); her man has used her out of poverty and provided her with almost everything for happy bourgeois living. So she spends days dressing this and this and trying to look at white prices, but can't find tranquility and through the entire novel looks for for the answer from everyone: what am I for you? What am I of you? It is interesting to underline that both girls benefit from each other: "While Clare says Irene as her connect to blackness, Irene mediates her desire for whiteness through Clare" (Sullivan 31). When associated with Clare, Irene finally was aware what was wrong in her life and she feels sorry that Clare had not been delivered a Negro (Larsen 225). The turmoil is sharpened in the scene with words from Clare torn by Irene: "The devastation completed, she accumulated them up, rose, and changed to the train's end. Standing up there, she fell them over railing and observed them scatter, on paths, on cinders, on forlorn grass, in rills of grubby drinking water" (178).
While we are all dependent on what others think folks, it isn't easy to stay cheerful if you are oppressed on the ground of your minority individuality. In this manner total rejection brings Clare to the tragic last: Clare vanishes, and Irene faints in search of her.