First Advisor

Anoop Mirpuri

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Arts and Letters and University Honors


Arts & Letters


Nella Larsen. Passing -- Criticism and interpretation, Race relations, Race in literature




The problem of race in America is still a polarizing issue. We have a responsibility to look to the past for historical context about where we find ourselves today. Nella Larsen's Passing is a text that resists identification and reveals many of the inherent inconsistencies in the process of racial, sexual, and gender identification. Irene and Clare are the characters in Passing who are usually considered for interpretation. At this point in the discourse, it is time to start considering the implications of other characters to the novel. When other characters are considered, a larger context of color-theory begins to take shape. These other characters bring a new level of interpretive possibility to the text.


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