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Harlem Resaissance Response To The Oral Tradition

1153 words - 5 pages

Jean Toomer is a master at appearance and behavior, with this in mind, ergo, I acquiesce with Karla Holloway. She argues convincingly that Toomer's "Fern" leaves out the memory consciousness storytelling, the perpetual breaks and the constant wavering of thoughts that is apparent in Nella Larson's "Quicksand."

"Like the face, the whole countryside seemed to flow into her eyes. Fern's eyes said to them that she was easy."

"Cane" is written with Toomer's typical use of alliteration, syncopation and his metaphorical preacher's tone. However, he does attempt to give Fern some sort of voice. Although he failed at this endeavor he still demonstrates that unmistakable focus on her "eyes," appearance. The second above quote, "that she was easy" concentrates on behavior. Exceptional and typical are the words that come to mind when characterizing "Cane." Typical because Toomer can not rewrite what he is a black male writer. However, although, unprecedented for the creation of an unambiguous word, a context, known as: oracular text.

Furthermore Holloway's text is proven when dissecting the following passage. "So, instead of turning away as she felt inclined, she walked on indifferently." This is a distinct example of the character's consciousness and the "inner voice" that Toomer fails to bring out, Larson succeeds in producing it.

Response: #4

Zora Hurston's celebration of Blues creativity and her rendering process is shown in a sort of Q&A session or better known as call and response, as can be seen in the quotations under.

"What killed this man?"

The chorus answered, "Bare, Bare fat"

"What killed this man?

"Bare, bare fat"

The question can be seen as the call and the answer the response. The repetition causes the responses to be mere images of work songs. The previously mention process that Zora Hurston includes in the above excerpt and throughout the novel as well, follows as: the AAB structure in which the second line is a variation of the first, the next paragraph contains some type of contrast or denouement. The entire story deals with Janie's relationship, which are mostly brief, painful and pleasurable. This process greatly resembles the life of a blues singer. The blues format works through her novel, which includes work songs and repetition and other functions. Hurston works her creativity in through the means of the blues structure.

Langston Hughes' transition phases and temporization of the traditional blues format can definitely be seen in "Weary Blues" and "Mother to Son." Typically, Hughes repeats a thought three times with the last word rhyming with previous line. This was a well-thought out process to emphasize the blues. To capture the beat and rhythm of the blue songs he employed a twelve bar chord structure in poems such as the aforementioned two. The vaudeville lyrics influenced "Weary Blues." Through the use of imagery, Hughes delineates a distance between...

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