Passing Comparison Essay

Submitted By Dbellcooper
Words: 646
Pages: 3

The novel Passing examines racism. But this isn’t the ordinary racism, the book explains racism between darker toned black people and the lighter toned African Americans who are more accepted into the environment. The characters in this book can be easily described. Each character is introduced and within the next few paragraphs you can tell what type of character the will be in the book. The protagonist, Irene, differs much from Clare. But aside from both being African American, they relate in different ways also. Irene is the main character in this story. She is introduced as a woman, a mother of two boys who is shopping for their gifts. It’s a hot summer day and she has gone through the trouble of going to three different places looking for a gift that she can not find anywhere. I was given the impression from this paragraph that Irene is a dependable person because she did not give up on finding her son’s gift. When she arrived on the Drayton hotel and ran into Clare, there was an awkward staring moment because she wasn’t sure if it was Clare or not. Clare gave her direct eye contact and Irene would just avoid the eye contact and look away. This made me think that Irene is more of a diffident and conscious person in contrast to Clare who is more confident. Later on after the meeting between Irene and Clare, Irene declared that she did not want to see Clare Kendry again after being disgusted by the fact that she would consider passing. I acknowledged that Irene is a dignified woman because she is loyal to her black roots. But the author also reveals that Irene isn’t the most dexterous person because when she received the phone call from Clare, she accepted the invitation to her house for tea. I sensed jealousy in Irene when she discovers later in the book that Clare actually gets along well with the black community. Clare Kendry was introduced in the first chapter as a sellout. She was introduced in the unexpected meeting with Irene which she then explained how she has decided to pass as a White woman. Not only has she passed as a white woman, but she has also married a white man. Clare can be described as inconsiderate. She put Irene and her social class as well as her self in danger.