I feel for Brian

Just finished reading Passing and I know the underlying
theme was supposed to be racial identity, but – I gotta
say – I felt the title had more to do with Irene and
her passing for a righteous woman than anything else.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t consider Clare admirable –
not in the least. But with her, at least, you knew what to
expect. She made no pretense about being something other than
what she was. She knew what she wanted and went after it
with everything she had.

Our ‘Rene, on the other hand, put on airs of being this proper,
moral woman, but – when push came to shove – all those
fancy trimmings fell away to reveal someone little different
from a thug; a mean, petty woman who spent the whole book complaining,
never, for a moment, stopping to wonder whose fault it was, exactly,
that things were unraveling the way they were…

Mechanically, I thought the writing held up well to the passage
of time. The language structure was a little formal, for my
tastes, but, on the whole, I enjoyed the narrative.

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2 Responses to I feel for Brian

  1. Tamir Smart says:

    I sympathize with Irene, she TRIED to be better than she was and I think that’s an admirable quality. It’s not easy being good when all you want to do is chuck someone down the stairs. Irene had a sense of what was right and her conscience played a big part in her helplessness. She never knew how to handle the situation and Clare knew that. Brian is a louse! Guilty as charged! We really don’t have any evidence besides the suspicions of Irene …but I still think he’s a louse!

  2. mcitowicki says:

    Sympathizing with any of the characters in this book is
    a little like picking out a favorite type of cancer. That said,
    Brian might well be a louse, but he’s also the sole character
    whose actions make a semblance of sense.

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