Passing-Death of Clare Essay

The decease of Clare at the terminal of Nella Larsen’s Passing though left ill-defined was. in my sentiment. caused by Irene forcing her out of the window. Nella Larsen does non stipulate what precisely happened. but Irene forcing Clare out of the window seems like the most plausible one. I don’t know whether Larsen deliberately left the stoping so suddenly but I merely experience as if Irene was the one to kill Clare.

Larsen makes this point clear through the phrasing she uses when depicting the self-esteem devastation Irene undergoes one time Clare has reinserted herself into Irene’s life. and the state of affairss Irene finds herself as a direct consequence of Clare. Prior to Clare’s reentrance into her life Irene is a self-confident. independent. and confident adult female ; nevertheless. she shortly turns self-aware. dependant. and hesitant. When sing Clare at the hotel Irene is struck by Clare’s beauty saying. “She’s truly about excessively fine-looking “ ( Larsen 27 ) .

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The word “good-looking” shows that Clare is beautiful. nevertheless. it is the add-on of the word “too” that indicants that Irene feels inferior to Clare’s beauty. Clare embodies beauty. as she is “too good-looking” . When Clare requests her presence at tea Irene frights Clare will non believe that she had a old battle. Larsen writes. “She was afraid Clare would non believe it” ( Larsen 27 ) . It seems foolish that Irene should care what Clare believes of her unity. Irene’s self-esteem non merely continues to deteriorate. but shows of internalized racism Begin to show themselves through unlogical idea and unreason. Irene describes Brian in the same manner she does Clare as. “extremely good-looking” ( Larsen 77 ) .

Irene. does non see herself as “good-looking” . therefore she believes herself unworthy of Brian an “extremely good-looking” adult male. so she assumes Brian and Clare are prosecuting in an matter. Despite confidences from Brian that he does non see Clare as “extraordinarily beautiful” . Irene remains convinced that they have engaged in a relationship. As an Afro-american adult female Irene must postulate with the political orientation that she is non worthy because of her skin color.

Clare’s presence in her life forces Irene to confront feelings of lower status. Though Clare is Afro-american she lives her life as a white adult female. Irene no longer views Clare as African-American. but a white adult female who threatens her life. White adult females are believed to be the prototype of beauty. so why would Brian. when presented with the best. non take the finest option harmonizing to society? Larsen writes. “Irene Redfield wished. for the first clip in her life she had non been born a Negro” ( 151 ) .

Larsen includes the word “first” to inform readers that Clare is the cause for Irene’s internalized racism. She had ne’er earlier contemplated what it would be like to hold been born of another ethnicity. Clare forces Irene to experience inferior within her ain place because she is non white. She is told mundane by society that she is inferior because of her tegument colour and now because of Clare she must return place and battle with the cognition she is non worthy of her hubby because she is non white. While Clare ne’er voices her emotions to Irene. she fears Clare ; though she ne’er verbalizes this fact Larsen shows it by composing. “A strong belief that the words were intended as a warning took ownership of Irene” ( Larsen 166 ) . Irene is in her ain place. yet she feels Clare someway “possessing” her.

Larsen creates an image of an guiltless individual forced into a state of affairs. The word ownership implies a deficiency of pick and that Irene feels lesser. In Irene’s oculus Clare is non a adult female who passes. but a white adult female whose presence in her place threatens the comfort and security of her life. Irene has managed to eliminate all cognition that Clare is really a biracial adult female “passing” as white. leting her to see Clare as she views all white adult females in society. as menaces. Larsen indicants this when stating. “she was cognizant that. to her. security was the most of import and coveted thing in life” ( 169 ) . Towards the terminal of the book. after Irene runs into John Bellew. she begins to believe about Clare and John divorcing.

And Larsen writes. “Then came a idea which she tried to drive away. If Clare should decease! Then – Oh. it was excessively despicable! To believe. yes. to wish that! She felt swoon and ill. But the thought stayed with her. She could non acquire rid of it” ( 101 ) . The ideas that Larsen has Irene believing makes it look as if Irene wants Clare dead. If she truly cared about her she would ne’er hold thought about her death and if she had for some ground so the idea would non hold stayed with her. Later on in the same scene. Larsen writes. “She turned her face to into her pillow to shout. But no cryings came” ( 101 ) . I think that if Irene truly felt bad about her ideas. she would hold cried about it.

When Irene eventually realized that Clare had died she had so many ideas in her caput. Larsen writes. “It was an accident. a awful accident. ’ she muttered ferociously. ‘It was” ( 112 ) . The inclusion of that last line. the italicized “was” makes it look as if Irene was seeking to reassure herself that it wasn’t her mistake. And so she goes on believing about whether she should hold stayed or non because she knew that people would finally happen her organic structure and ask inquiries.

In a few sentences Larsen establishes that Irene is self-aware about what Clare will believe of her. dependant on the blessing of Clare. and hesitating to do a determination for fright of what Clare might take to believe. Irene’s devastation continues as Clare inserts herself into Irene’s interior circle of household and friends. Irene went from holding a good caput on her shoulders to going a paranoid covetous adult females ; which leads readers to believe that Irene pushed Clare.



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