Cane Toomer. The novel is arranged as a series

Cane is a book by Harlem Renaissance writer
Jean Toomer. The novel is arranged as a series of pieces concerned with African
Americans, their experiences and beginnings in the U.S. They switch in style
between narrative, poetry, and theater like dialogue. Because of this, the
novel has been grouped as a compound novel or a short story. Even though some
characters and conditions repeat between pieces, the pieces are mostly unrelated,
only connected to the other vignettes thematically and contextually opposed to explicit
plot details. Due to these unusual conditions, there are a couple ways to look
at the section we looked at. Part 1 takes place in Georgia and contains
narratives named “Karintha”, “Becky”, “Fern”, “Blood Burning Moon” and “Carma”.
Most of the narratives focus on women and their mysterious but attractive
nature. They are alone by choice, keeping to themselves because of the danger
or disappointment that trails with love. The poems are called “Reapers”, “November
Flower, Face”, “Cotton Song”, “Song of the Son”, “Georgia Dusk”, “Nullo”, “Evening
Song”, “Conversion” and “Portrait in the Georgia.” The poems are more so about
the work of laborers, the dislocation of African religion and the brutality and
beauty that lived in the south. Slavery has a large undertone, as do violence
and loss. Some of the poems have rhythm with heightened energy, probably linked
back to the energy of songs, slaves used to sing, whereas others are broken.

             By
analyzing the first part of Cane,
I that Toomer stresses the metaphor of the women in the South, over and over using
them as a beginning to his stories. They resist a single line of thinking about
race, region, and gender in favor of an indeterminacy that has to be thoroughly
read into or interpreted subjectively. Moreover, Toomer consistently associates
the women with a trope of the road, attributing to them a mediatory as he
encourages separate understandings of the folk and in so doing a metaphorical
recovery of an African American folk identity. In doing this, Toomer creates an
innovative literary work that powerfully calls forth black life in the early South. 

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