Thursday, October 26th, 2017...4:34 pmolearyc

Genre of Cane

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Jean Toomer’s Cane can be differentiated from many other texts that I have read in the past in that there is not a central narrative. Even though there is not a central narrative in Cane there are thematic similarities. They all share the commonality of the adverse, shared black experience in the deep south. In addition, shared topics specifically include a women’s experiences in a racist environment. Further, the narratives are not directly connected, but they build off one another to draw parallel themes.

Cane is interestingly structured in a combination of both prose and poetry. Several shorter poems are followed by a longer prose style piece of writing and this structure continues throughout Cane. This exemplifies an ambiguous genre. Cane displays elements of both drama and tragedy. Additionally, although there are not direct references to historical events which leads the reader to believe this is a fictional story, there is a strong sense of verisimilitude in Jean Toomer’s writing. These are validated, realistic challenges being described that are similar to personal testimonials. I would define Cane as a multi-genre novel that embodies aspects of fiction, autobiography, history and ultimately shares common themes that link the different styles of writing.



1 Comment

  •   Professor Seiler
    November 7th, 2017 at 2:05 am

    Caroline–this post has such a great outcome in its final sentence, where you almost get the sense that this list of forms / modes could extend indefinitely. It certainly would if you were to read arc 3, “Kabnis,” 0f _Cane_ (hint hint).

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