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Internal Desires, Questions of Identities and External Outcomes in Nella Larsen’s Passing

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Authors
Ahn, Laura
Issue Date
2017-12
Publisher
서울대학교 미국학연구소
Citation
미국학, Vol.40 No.2, pp. 77-102
Keywords
African AmericansCaucasianscultural identityracial identitypassing
Abstract
In Passing, Nella Larsen explores the general themes of “passing,” that is, one race attempting to be taken as another, through the actions of her two protagonists, Irene Redfield and Clare Kendry. While Clare is able to pass as a white woman, she still secretly longs for acceptance into black society. Her counterpoint, Irene, while having been accepted into black society, disparages the very notion of passing. That being said, Irene's actions appear to negate this belief and betray her internal desires to also be accepted into white society. Furthermore, Clare is unable to fully pass due to her inclination towards the society that she had outwardly rejected. Through these two female characters, Larsen poignantly illustrates that pervasive internal desires are the predominant determiners of external outcomes, regardless of established outward behaviors, opinions, or beliefs.
ISSN
1229-4381
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/147008
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Researcher Institutes (연구소)American Studies Institute (미국학연구소)미국학미국학 Volume 40 Number 1/2 (2017)
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