Jean Toomer's Cane

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The theme of disconnection is extremely prevalent in Jean Toomer’s “Cane”, especially that of women and the society around them. It was a strange time for African American women, because they had not really made their place in society yet. They were just looked at as sexual objects and housewives.

The first excerpt that really stood out to me was that of Fern. I found it interesting and sort of sad how mysterious how she was. You could tell that there was a lot to her that never expelled from her outward appearance. Even those who knew her knew nothing that went on in her mind. She would often stare off, seemingly in a longing way, as if she were looking into an abyss. It seemed that men understood her the least, however. They would spend a massive amount of time trying to please her and give her what they thought she needed. Men would try to reach in to her heart by doing whatever they could, but in the end got nowhere.

The other I thought showed a good example of disconnection was Carma. It was about a woman who was married to a man who was part of a gang. He heard that Carma was being unfaithful to him, when he confronted her she ran out into a field of cane shortly after an argument. Bane hears a gunshot and gathers the neighbors to find her. When one stumbles over her and they bring her to a sofa and find out that she was not wounded, Bane gets angry for getting fooled. He then slashes the man nearest to him with a knife. After this Bane is sent to prison, which is why this story was considered to be “the crudest melodrama”. The reason Carma was so disconnected from society was because of her husband. Much like Fern, men were the reason for Carma’s disconnection from society.
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