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A character is an extended verbal representation of a human being, the inner self that determines thought, speech, and behavior. In the book Cane author Jean Toomer expresses each character in a different unique way. The author uses different literary poems to give you a particular setting or time. The author goes in depth with most character to give you a mental picture of a character and their personality.
The character Becky is a white woman who has been exiled from society from both sides of the racial barrier for having two mixed children by a black man.
Toomer lets the reader know this by telling some of the comments that were being said from both sides of the community. Some of the white people said,” Common God- forsaken, insane white shameless wench.” Members of the African American community said,” Low down nigger with no self-respect. Poor catholic poor white crazy women.” In this sketch author Jean Toomer is portraying Becky as a poor white woman who had two mixed kids, and had been exiled yet both sides of the community felt as if they had to help her or had a responsibility to help her, because she was white and had two half black babies.
Toomer wrote, White folks and Black folks built her cabin and fed her and her baby. The ironic thing is that they built the cabin between the road and the railroad track a strip of land that isn’t a part of the community, but her own.
Becky was just a lonely and ashamed white women because people rode up and down the road every day but no one ever saw her.
The character Karintha is portrayed as a beautiful woman who everyone wanted. Jean Toomer tells us this by saying old men would pray for youth to get a chance to be with her. Young fellows wanted for the time to pass to be able to mate with her. The author also portrays her, as a spoiled woman because as a child she would run around screaming and everyone said it was ok because she was as sweet as a November cotton flower. Karintha never got satisfaction from anyone because the book tells us she was marrying several times and men kept trying to get with her.
The author Jean Toomer uses poems and character sketches to give the reader a better insight on the different characters, by going more in depth to give you a mental picture of characters from other people’s comments in the sketch. The book Cane is more than a short novel but a mental journey to the south through different people.
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