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Comparing Woman’s Social Status In Becky And Blood Burning Moon

940 words - 4 pages

Jean Toomer was bi-racial, sometimes being perceived as white and sometimes black. His race was a catalyst for his writings. Toomer wrote prose and poetry reflecting his ideas about race and gender, not wanting either to be an issue in the future. His writings depict people of all races facing struggles, some gender struggles and some racial struggles. In “Becky” and in “Blood Burning Moon,” Toomer centers around two females. During the time period of his writings and what is still somewhat evident today, gender decides the role a person plays in society. As a female, one was always inferior to the male, no matter what the race. Therefore, these two works show how being a female affects a woman’s treatment in life; she loses some control of her destiny, which is ultimately decided by a male or a group of males.

“Becky” centers on a white female who has two black sons. She is forced to leave the town and live on the outskirts because interracial relationships are not acceptable to the other citizens. As a female, Becky is unable to deny maternity to the two boys, but the man who impregnated her has no ties to the children and could have denied paternity of the two boys. Becky avoids the criticism from the townspeople by living in her house “ground islandized between the road and the railroad track.” No one ever sees her. She has no contact with the townspeople, but those who care for her well-being bring her food and leave it outside of her house, anonymously.

Louisa, in “Blood Burning Moon,” is a black female who is loved by two men, one white man and one black man. She works for a white family, the youngest son being Bob Stone. He is in love with Louisa because of her beauty and charisma. He believes that being a man he has the right to be with any female he wants. However, since she is a black female he fears he will be ridiculed by his family and his friends. Therefore, he hides his love for her around others but always longs to be with her, buying her dresses and silk stockings to please her. Tom Burwell, the black man, also longs for her but can never find the words to tell her so. He hates the sound of Bob’s name because he thinks that Louisa may be in love with him. Louisa struggles between the two men. Eventually, Bob Stone fights with Tom Burwell because he wants no other man to be with Louisa, and Tom kills Bob. The other white men of the town hear of Bob’s death and hunt Tom down; the townspeople catch Tom, bind him, and burn him at a stake, without a trial or...

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