Honesty And Greed Depicted In Nella Larsen's Passing

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” Nella Larsen's Passing is considered to be more of a book about honesty and greed, but most forget about a large theme, judgement. Clare Kendry is judged throughout the whole book for passing for white. The narrator even judges Clare as he/she states, “The trouble with Clare was, not only that she wanted to have her cake and eat it too, but that she wanted to nibble at the cakes of other folk as well" (p. 107). The narrator was commenting on how Clare is very selfish and wanted the best of both worlds, to be incorporated into the black and white community. Clare is entitled to be a part of both the black and white communities because of her willingness to fit into both societies, her human curiosity, and her…show more content…
When being denied something, the need for that something increases. This being said, Clare denies herself the black community, but her need for that community steadily increases. After Irene gives Clare information on the black community, the narrator notices Clare's reaction. The narrator remarks that “Clare drank it all in, these things which for so long she had wanted to know and hadn’t been able to learn” (42). This is a standard reaction, when given the biggest desire. Clare has denied herself the relationships she may have had. Realizing this, Clare tells Irene, “You can’t know how in this pale life of mine I am all the time seeing the bright pictures of that other that I once thought I was glad to be free of….” (14). Denial can quickly lead up to infatuation. Clare's denial turned to infatuation, which can definitely be held responsible for her bad decisions and

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