"Double consciousness, or the "sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others" (Du Bois 3), is an explanation for the black perception of identity, which Du Bois argues is dependent on how black citizens think whites perceive them. Du Bois' theory applies to many situations outside the obvious perception of racial identity, and its basic assertion plays a critical role in Nella Larsen's 1929 novel Passing through its effects on the main character's perception of herself and others. In this essay, I aim to explore how W.E.B. Du Bois' theory of double consciousness affects protagonist Irene Redfield's perception of her own identity as well as her perception of Clare Kendry's identity and how double consciousness helps to construct the novel's commentary on racial identity.

Race in itself holds this inherent danger simply because a racial identity cannot be defined without a conflicting racial identity-black does not exist without white, nor does white exist without black-yet, as Baldwin vows, "it is precisely this black-white experience which may prove of indispensable value to us in the world we face today" (175). When Americans learn this, the conflict between racial identity can be understood and, one day, resolved."

-- Jordan Javelet

Verge is an undergraduate journal that is faculty- and student-nominated, and faculty- and student-advised. It collects the best of academic, research-based writing and more creative nonfiction work. The journal's interdisciplinary approach emphasizes the links between different academic departments, as well as the links between the curiosities, inquiries, and achievements of individuals who might not otherwise know about one another's work.

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Our current issue, Verge 11 (academic year 2014-2015), is now available.

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