When it comes to Nella Laren's ❝Passing❞ English, it is very popular not only for its obscurity but also for the ambiguity of the context. The ending is celebrated, but we all know how Clare Kendry's death was not stated clearly. It looked vague and unbelievable. There is no doubt that the author tried to make things clear through equivocation, but you might also find proper evidence hidden in the text itself about the aspect that led to the death of Clare, and it was certainly not suicide.
In fact, it is acknowledged that Clare's death is homicide more than anything else. The one and the only person who was progress and the only constant reason for the case of Clare's murder were Irene Redfield, who was her supposed friend all through the story.
When it comes to Irene Redfield, he was Clare's childhood friend. They have known each other for a long time. But, as they aged, they moved apart from each other. In fact, as stated in the book, they had been apart for more than 12 years. Irene always desired to stay close to Clare, and it was by chance that they got reunited that Irene never wanted to change.
But, it has been seen that Irene tried to do things that made Clare think that he desired to break ties.
She has constantly shown a desire to move away from Clare by making several attempts to let Clare Kendry know at once.
These attempts include the form:
She was doing all of it because Clare was quite envious of her appearance. Undoubtedly, she was beautiful with golden, exquisite, fragrant, and glistening hair and sparkling eyes. She just looked like dark jewels that made Irene common about herself. She felt dowdy watching her and eventually comparing the look with Clare. But, this was not it, as there was one more reason that made Irene think of staying away from Clare.
Because of this, Irene was confused and always thought, how is this possible that Brian could keep on building a relationship with Clare with the same amount of affection and care all through this time. This certainly disturbed Irene a lot, and this made her will to stay away from Clare even stronger.
This made Irene often think about what all this was heading to and how is she going to deal with the same. She constantly though what all this means and is it the end of her and Brian's relationship. As she felt low because of the looks when compared to Clare, she feared losing him a lot more. She constantly thought that as she was beautiful, Brian might get attracted to her, and she might mean nothing to him.
Slowly and steadily, these thought processes kept on building, and so did the negativity about Irene. All these aspects literally made things worse, and it made her think to stay away from her as much as possible. The thought process went down so much that she started thinking about how Clare died. Yes, she started thinking about what she was completely out of context. Clare's smile used to cause a lot of issues with Irene's mental state. All this made her think, how about Clare disappears from the story completely. All these aspects show how Clare was desperate about having Irene out of the picture by any means.
"She couldn't have her free" was her quote that reflected Irene's determination for getting Clare out. Even though she played her part in this murder, she also specified that the entire incident was an accident. "It was an accident, a terrible accident [that] it was." It is the phrase that shows how Irene was confirming the guilt she had about the respective homicide. As she denied all the faults, it solidifies that she was the primary suspect in the complete case of Clare's murder.
❝But yes, there was no proper evidence related to it.❞
She was constantly showing a melancholy and unpredictable state of mind after the respective incident. This type of mindset means irrational thoughts that can be acknowledged in the form of suicide. She abandoned her black heritage and passed for white for the purpose of monetary value. Clare always felt that her husband had trapped her. John Bellow was Clare's husband, and he was quite a racist.
Clare continued to visit Irene and always used to request her to visit at social parties. But she did her best to avoid these situations. As stated, she was just not comfortable at all spending time with her. As and when she saw her, all the negative thoughts came to her mind. This is why she kept away from the situations where she had to face Clare.
But, as Clare was all alone and fully detached from the world, she kept on feeling about being trapped because of her husband. All of these aspects lead to a volatile mixture of desperation, recklessness, and being trapped. And these facts suggest that it was a suicide. The point of view in these aspects can be different, but it completely depends on the thought process whether Irene could be held guilty or it was a suicide overall.
Author: Edward Carey
Profile: English Litterature & Essay Writing Analyst
Designation : Professor At Texas University