Passing by Nella Larsen Essay

Passing by Nella Larsen Essay

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Another issue that Nella Larsen brings up in her story, Passing, is the aspect of lesbianism. Before the Harlem Renaissance began, people back then were not very open about being a gay or lesbian person. As the years progressed, people became more open about their sexuality if they happened to be different. The Harlem Renaissance was a time period that is known for the blossoming culture of African Americans. The Harlem Renaissance took place in the vicinity of Harlem, New York. This event was a cultural movement for the African American community. It opened the gates for many people to express themselves through visual art, literature, music and other creative activities that gave them the freedom to express their feelings as they pleased. In the article, The Harlem Renaissance for Gays and Lesbians by Kathy Belge, it is mentioned that along with the freedom of expression for African Americans, also came the freedom for lesbians and gays as well. According to Belge, the Harlem Renaissance was a time period of sexual exploration for people who were attracted to the same sex. As music became a huge part of the Harlem Renaissance, gays and lesbians found themselves going to jazz and blues clubs. Through the time period, those clubs brought the gay community together no matter what the peoples’ race was. In Belge’s article, she states that some artists that sang Blues spoke out for homosexuals and the “blurring of sexual boundaries and same-sex attraction.” In Larsen’s novel, there are some very subtle hints of homosexuality and the hints are not often picked up with just reading the story once. To pick up on some deeper meanings of Nella Larsen’s text, one has to delve into the story and read critically. Once Larsen’s audience has t...


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... about the traditional factors that made a person who they were back in those days and it affected how they perceived themselves.



Works Cited

Belge, Kathy. “The Harlem Renaissance for Gays and Lesbians.” About. Web. 6 May 2014.
Beu, Jennifer. “Nella Larsen’s Lesbians in Passing.” Women’s Literature. 9 February 2012. Web. 20 April 2014.
Covert, Jessica. “'Everything Must Be Paid For: The Price of ‘Passing’.” Jessica Covert: Appropriate Education for All. Web. 20 April 2014.
Kinna. “Passing- Nella Larsen.” Kinna Reads. 23 March 2010. Web. 20 April 2014.
Larsen, Nella. Passing. 1929. Print.
Lisa’s Literary Life. “Review: Passing by Nella Larsen.” Lisa’s Literary Life. 30 July 2011. Web. 6 May 2014.
“Nella Larsen Biography.” BiographyBase. Web. 6 May 2014.
Tetreault, Allison. “Identity in ‘Passing’.” Allison Tetreault: Journalist. November 2011. Web. 20 April 2014.

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