Nella Larsen´s " Passing": Why Claire had to die!

Essay by Bulldog36University, Bachelor'sA-, August 2003

download word file, 8 pages 0.0

Explain the importance of the concluding scene of Passing to our understanding of the novella. Your response should do more than argue Irene killed Clare, it should explain how this result is forshadowed in the text. In other Words, your essay should be able to answer the larger question concerning why Clare seemingly " has" to die.

The novel " Passing" by Nella Larsen deals with an America in 1929. The " Golden Era", " The twenties" were very famous in American history. It was the time of the Prohibition, an amendment that outlawed alcoholic beverages. It was a decade of change, women got the right to vote in 1920 with the 19th amendment. " Modern Life" was marked by electric tools, the radio, the movie theatres, the car as a mass transportation system, big malls and the mass consumption. An African- American was voted in the House of Representative in Southern- Chicago.

But " The Twenties" had also something bad to offer, with the rising of the Ku Klux Klan, between 1921 and 1930, 246 African- Americans got killed and in 1929 the Great Depression started.

It was also the time that a lot of unemployed blacks moved to the bigger cities in the North especially Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York. The result of this cultural migration was the spreading of Jazz and African- American Literature. From 1920 until about 1930 an unprecedented outburst of creative activity among African- Americans occurred in all fields of art. Beginning as a series of literary discussion in the lower and upper Manhattan, this African- American cultural movement became known as " The New Negro Movement" and later as Harlem Renaissance. More than a literary movement and more than a social revolt against racism, the Harlem Renaissance exalted the unique culture of...