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I. Introduction.

1. African American women are faced with the conflict between reality and their happiness.

The reality is that African American women are facing unfair treatment, unjust social structure, and racism in a society that consists of white people as the majority. They will be able to achieve happiness and acceptance when they are treated just as the white people are treated, when respect to the African American race is recognized, and when they are provided more opportunities and not discriminated just because of their color.

2. Elise Jonson McDougald wrote the essay entitled “The Task of Negro Womanhood” for all African America women.

3. In the novel Passing by Nella Larsen, two characters, Irene and Clare, demonstrated the problems of African American women outlined in McDougal’s essay.

4. Looking at the two characters, we analyze what “passing” truly means. We also look at why the women pass off as a white person, how they are doing this, and what results do they get. Only after can we find the solution for the two women’s happiness in the McDougald essay.

1. Clare desires for the outside beauty. She gives importance to material things. She deceives her husband when she passes off as a white person when the truth is, she belongs to the African American race. She gets what she has dreamed of all of her life. However, she is not happy because of her lies and not knowing where to place herself in society.

2. She felt lonely, as she could not relate her problem to her husband. She then meets her old friend, Irene, whom she started to compare herself with. As a result, she realizes that material things are not essential in life and that family and identity are the more important things that she has to think about. Ultimately, her lying leads to her death.

2. For Irene, family is more important. She has the right moral values. When she met Clare, she also started to compared herself with the other woman. She felt inferior to Clare and worried living as  a true African American woman. She forced her husband to be a doctor and regret not “passing.” As a consequence, she lost her husband’s trust when she sat back and let Clare die.

3. The two women fail to live a happy life. McDougald gave each other solutions to their misery.

4. Conclusion. McDougald emphasizes the beauty and importance of African American women’s identity. What does the color “black” for African American mean? Black color is the African American’s racial stem. They have to understand first about their race and their history, and then we can change problems that they deal with from the society. In the novel, both women


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