Chesnutt, Charles W. “The Wife of His Youth.” Call and Response: The Riverside Anthology of the African American Literary Tradition. Gen. ed. Patricia Liggins Hill. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. 594-600. Print.
Larsen, Nella. Passing. Mansfield Centre: Martino Publishing, 2011. book. 26 February 2015. PASSING. Mansfield Centre: Martino Publishing, 2011. short story book.
March 17, 2015
Color Does Not Make a Difference
Even today the color line plays a big role in the lives of blacks in America. A person’s station in life is often based on their skin tone and the way people judge them based on their complexion. Passing by Nella Larsen and the Wife of his Youth by Charles W. Chesnutt; uses the color line of a person’s skin to help their characters to learn that the lightness of their skin will never change the fact that they are black. Passing by Nella Larsen is a story which centers on the reunion of two childhood friends of mixed raced African American ancestry, Clare Kendry and Irene Redfield and their increasing fascination with each other’s lives. The Wife of His Youth by Charles W. Chesnutt features a light skin man, and a respected member of the Blue Vein Society in the north named Mr. Ryder. Mr. Ryder is a bi- racial man who was born free before the Civil War. Similar to the other Blue Veins, Mr. Ryder had idealized whiteness and dreams of becoming white. In Larsen’s story Irene is a black woman who passes through society’s color line as white because she is light skinned. A good example of this was when Irene was coming out of a store and a dark skinned man passes out on the Chicago Street; no one helped him. However, when Irene was about to pass out, a cabdriver helps her and puts her in the car and takes her to Drayton Hotel; a hotel for whites. But if she had been with her black husband, no one would have helped her (4) (5). Irene, who married a black man, passes for...
Cited: Chesnutt, Charles W. “The Wife of His Youth.” Call and Response: The Riverside Anthology of the African American Literary Tradition. Gen. ed. Patricia Liggins Hill. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. 594-600. Print.
PASSING. Mansfield Centre: Martino Publishing, 2011. short story book.
March 17, 2015
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