Were there any meals or communions in this book?

Expert Answers
Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a very interesting question about Nella Larsen's book Passing mostly because of the wording "meals or communions."  Were there any "meals or communions"?  Yes.  Are they significant?  At least one of them is, and I will talk about this one particular meal/communion in detail. 

Probably the most important meal/communion in Nella Larsen's book Passing is Irene's memory of having "tea" with Clare.  This meal/communion or "tea time" was actually in Chicago (not Harlem) when Irene and a friend of hers were invited to eat at Clare's home with her racist husband.  What is interesting is that Clare's husband has no idea that his wife is actually black (due to her white skin).  In Irene's memory, we hear Irene's disgust at this meal/communion, in that Irene and her friend are trapped in Clare's home listening to huge racist speeches by Clare's husband.  The irony is that all three women (despite their olive skin) are black.  The reason why this scene is important is that Irene now recognizes that, after the Chicago episode, Clare wants to "use" Irene to enter society in Harlem. 

In conclusion, I must admit that you could mean "communion" in a more spiritual sense of a church service communion and, in that sense, this "meal" is not found in the book.  There is also another specific lack of communion that is most important:  the lack of communion between the white and black races in 1920s America and, specifically, in Harlem.