Passing by Nella Larson (1891-1964) Part Three Notes
Lecture 3 Notes
-ASSIGNMENT DUE: Essay #1 (1000 words or 4-5 pages) Due Wednesday
September 28th at the end of Lecture (worth 10% of Final Grade)
Clare’s Death? Theories Her Husband is furious and irate because he has discovered
that she is passing. He is looking for his wife, but before he can get to her, she has
fallen from the 6th ﬂoor window and is now dead. Everyone goes downstairs but Irene,
posing a question if Irene was the killer.
Clare’s Death forces us to ask the question of how we can look back on the text and
story line and ﬁgure out the ending of the story and how Clare really died.
-SCENARIO 1) Clare Committed Suicide - she is unhappy with her situation and her
life and the book foreshadows this or she did not want to deal with the fallout of her
marriage and the anger of her husband Jack. At the beginning of the book, Irene asks
Clare what would happen if Jack her husband ﬁgures out she is passing, Clare
response with “ I will be free” Maybe this foreshadows Clare committing suicide after
Jack ﬁgures out her secret that she is passing.
-SCENARIO 2) Clare fell by accident - lend it to the interpretation that clare’s life has
been ﬁlled with accidents, being born into certain family, living with white aunts who
disapproved pf her back origin, marrying jack…. all of these “situational accidents”
-SCENARIO 3) Irene Pushed Clare out the window . I do not think this is a likely
theory because Irene say Clare’s life crumble to pieces and she would not risk her
entire future by choosing an act of risk and danger. Irene always plays it safe.
-Irene: feelings of indignation ( feelings of longing and loneliness) while at tea with
Clare. She becomes part of their inner circle, befriending them, While the idea Clare
(paternal grandfather - white, paternal grandfather- black) marrying Jack has given
her privilege such as money, social status,etc. She mad other sacriﬁces such as her
-“When the chance to get away came that mission [meaning her racial heritage] was a
great value to me. When Jack, a schoolboy acquaintance of some people in the
neighbourhood, turned up from South America with untold gold, there was no one to
tel him that I was coloured, and may to tell him about severity and the religiousness of