This year I’m taking an English Literature class called, Modernism in Black Literature. Let’s all remember that I am not English major, and I have finished my English requirements, so I’m truly taking this class for fun and out of an interest. The first novel that we read this semester was Cane by Jean Toomer. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Cane was very interesting in the fact that Toomer breaks it up first in big chunks, of the southern portion and the northern portion, and then goes on to make the “chapters” of the book individual stories. In the southern portion of the book the individual stories takes a look into the lives of different black individuals and what they go through being black in the south. He tells about the highs and the lows, what it’s like to be part of race that is feared and hated, and what it’s like to be part of the southern injustices.
When the second half of the novel starts the location has shifted to the north where the treatment of blacks is a little bit different. There’s not as many injustices or problems, but there is always the feeling of being different than the rest of the world. The feel of the north comes through as the characters experience different clubs and also there is some integration.
In a lot of the stories Toomer uses the view point of women, which is also very different in the fact that women at this time still don’t get much of a say.Not only are women telling the stories, but they are also the object of many of the stories when a man is telling the story.
This book to me was sometimes hard to get through. It had high points and low points, but I do believe that it is worth reading. It’s not something that I would have picked up on my own, but I’m glad that I had to read it.
Until Next Time,
Keep Turning the Pages
90s Born Reader