Monday, October 30th, 2017...5:14 pmAliya Nichols

The Hybridity of Cane

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I don’t think that Cane can be defined by one specific genre, but rather a hybrid of many well known genres. To me, this means that Cane is a complex literary piece which forces the reader to not only analyze the text, but the form as well. Cane creates a discomfort for the reader by amplifying the importance of form. From what we have read so far, I would classify Cane as speculative non-fiction because it focuses on civil rights of women and African-Americans. I find it to be a cop out in a way but to simply classify Cane would be to call it a hybrid. This is the most basic and straightforward answer I can respond with. I was particularly interested in Karintha’s story and what genre it would fall under. I would classify this story in the genre of poetic speculative non-fiction. Toomer uses a fictional male narrator to depict issues of gender inequality. He incorporates this overarching theme through a hybrid of prose and poetry. Overall I think that Cane is a hybrid but when separated into different stories has a more definable combination of genres.


  • I do not think that your answer is a “cop out” in any sense of the word. I am very interested in your idea of “speculative non-fiction.” Particularly due to the fact that, while the characters might not be fiction, the oppressive acts they experience are very real. I think this is a great observation.

  • I definitely agree with Michaela’s comment that your notion that Cane is a “hybrid” and/or a “speculative non-fiction” is an observation that is both interesting and supportable. I too struggled to classifying Toomer’s text under a single genre, but I think that this difficulty arises from the fact that Cane does not embody only one genre or type of writing and is meant to serve as a “hybrid” or cross-over between various types of writing. I would love for you to expand upon why you found the varying form of Cane to be uncomfortable and whether or not you think that this was Toomer’s intent in creating Cane in this way. Overall, great post!

  • Do you perceive the hybridity of CANE to be a barrier or a strength? Because I know that some people have noted their inability to follow along, would you consider that a critique of the book or an incentive for readers to be more attentive?

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