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Compare and contrast the outcomes of interracial romance in “Mississippi Masala” and Passing.

Part II: ESSAY QUESTIONS
CHOOSE ONE and write a 5-paragraph Basic Essay. Try to use textual evidence to support your claims. Make sure that your essay has an arguable thesis in its introduction. Include a minimum of 3 body paragraphs. I do not expect you to write more than one single-spaced type page.

1. Both “Mississippi Masala” and Passing portray identity as fluid and open to change. The film focuses on the term “masala” or mixed identity, while the novella focuses on race as a repeated performance that can be changed at any time by “passing” as one or the other. Compare and contrast how the film and the novella explore identity as being multiple.

2. Explore same-sex desire in both Typee (“pansexuality”) and in Passing. Does pansexual/same sex desire support more or less racial tolerance and openness in these texts? How so? You might want to focus on Tommo and Marnoo vs. Irene and Clare.

3. Compare and contrast the outcomes of interracial romance in “Mississippi Masala” and Passing. Clearly, in the former, romance “succeeds” and in the latter, it “fails.” Why do you think this happens? What is the message in the “success” vs. the “failure”?

4. In Passing, how might we see BOTH Irene and Clare as “passing.” What are the similarities and differences between the two in terms of how and why they pass?


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