Gender, Ethnicity, And Social Class

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Roles of Sexuality In the 1920s, after slavery was abolished, there was a migration of African Americans towards the North, especially into urban areas closer proximity to white neighborhoods. A popular destination was Harlem, New York. United States went through an era known as the Harlem Renaissance were African American voices were being heard in a new, unexplored light. “Passing” was a recurring theme that was used through most literature and film by most African Americans. “Passing” is referred to the capability of one to be considered as a member of social groups other than his/her own, such as race, gender, ethnicity, and social-class, with the intention of achieving social acceptance. Nella Larsen’s novel Passing uses the theme to describe a biracial character blending into the white race through times when legal and social traditions classified the person as Black. When Larsen wrote the novel, racial discrimination existed and so did the discrimination for those who were homosexual. Most readers overlooked the subversive message of the role of sexuality that is written throughout the novel. Larsen shows the homosexual desire both between Irene and Clare and also in Brian. As the reader is focused on the theme of the novel of passing as another race and trying to be accepted. Its difficult to deny the possibility of Irene’s subliminal attraction to Clare. From the beginning of the novel, Irene seems fascinated, sometimes entranced, by Clare’s appearance. For
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