However, this does not make Irene a caring or loving character. These flowers symbolize the attraction Irene has for Clare. We shy away from it with an odd kind of revulsion, but we protect it. In the novel, Clare Kendry hides her racial identity from her husband and is able travel to places where African Americans are not allowed entry because no one can denote her black heritage from her behavior. She grew up in Chicago, and now lives in Harlem, New York with her husband, Brian, and two sons, Ted and Junior. These undertones are hidden rather than overtly stated in the novel and can, therefore, be easily missed by readers. The third and final part of the novel begins before Christmas, as Irene's relationship with her husband has become increasingly fraught.
Irene begins to believe that Clare and Brian are having an affair to hide or distract from her own feelings for Clare. Visitation will be Friday, from 5:00 — 7:00 p. She eventually convinces herself that Clare and Brian are having an affair, but also may have repressed feelings for Clare herself. Clearly taken aback, Irene represses her rage and indignation and keeps Clare's dangerous secret from Bellew. She, like Irene, was born in Chicago. They always took her for an Indian, a Spaniard, a Mexican, or a gipsy. Bob Kendry is angry because Clare has used some of the money she earned as a dressmaker's assistant to buy fabric to make herself a red Christmas dress.
According to Marita Golden, Larsen introduces two fragile characters to get her sentiments across. But the strain of keeping up appearances is too much, and her untimely and often criticized death in the end of the novella, analyzed later in this essay, shows how Larsen spins the problem of the tragic mulatto to encompass the problem of identity. Irene's desire to be white comes from her wanting the middle-class lifestyle because it will give her the security she needs. Thus, the aunt's perceptions of Clare's work are distinctly categorized through race. Going into a deeper look at Irene we can obviously see that the jealousy and envy have taken over her as a character to have her either do something so horrific, or not care that something so horrific happened. The other difference between the two personages is that Irene is prejudiced and derives a profound satisfaction in judging women by their husbands.
Set primarily in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City in the 1920s, the story centers on the reunion of two childhood friends—Clare Kendry and Irene Redfield—and their increasing fascination with each other's lives. In a time in American history when it could be dangerous to be black, and especially dangerous to be black in a white neighborhood, or white establishment, mullato's were acutely aware of the option to swing in the direction which would provide them with upward social mobility. She was amazed, incredulous almost. The book ends with Irene's fragmented anguish at Clare's death. She is much more economically secure than most people were at this time; upper-middle class.
Toward the end of the visit, Clare's white husband John Jack Bellew arrives. Irene, who identifies as an African American, choses to pass when she feels the need to blend into white culture. Most of these actions make Clare look caring and genuine in her actions. In order to successfully destabilize the determinacy of identity, we must first define identity, and then understand how that definition does and does not work in an analysis of Passing. Irene Redfield Irene Redfield is a doctor's wife. She was too tired, and too shocked. Both of the main characters Irene Redfield and Clare Kendry present a strong sense of class.
It is here that Irene runs into a childhood friend who is passing, pretending to be white. The story begins when Irene bumps into her childhood friend Clare in Chicago, in the formal white only Drayton Cafe. Irene was married to not only a doctor, but a black doctor; which, at the time was not the most common career for a black man. Did that woman, could that woman, somehow know that here before her very eyes on the roof of the Drayton sat a Negro? For the first time she suffered and rebelled because she was unable to disregard the burden of race. Irene, in refusing to remember the facts clearly, commits psychological suicide. Her own confusion about racial or gender passing, her aspiration to pass as a novelist, and her endeavor to pass her fiction from obscurity into popularity directly affects the plot and characters in Passing.
Irene, however, harbors antipathy toward Clare for ambiguous and complex reasons. According to Larsen, identity is beliefs, personal traits and qualities that make a person unique. In her intensifying suspicions, Irene's jealousy develops into a fear of losing her family, and with it, the identity she has built for herself as a middle class black woman. Contact me at kinnareads at gmail dot com. Bob Kendry Clare's father, who died in a saloon fight while Clare was still a child.
Scholar Jennifer Brody describes Clare's passing for white as showing her childhood desire for gaining power and dominance in the society around her. Black novelists, especially female black novelists, had to be more discreet when writing about the sexuality of their characters. While the golden, extravagant Clare, as the embodiment of the tragic mulatto, attempts to pass as white and straight, security-loving Irene attempts to pass as sane and straight. Environment: a rooftop restaurant at the Drayton. Racial passing connotes the transition of a member of the black community into the white community.