First off, in analyzing Shug Avery, we should note that Shug may be the Queen Honeybee in the jazz club where she sings, but obviously she reigns only while she sings. In this scene, she is ill, but no one offers to take care of her. On her own turf, she may be a queen of sorts, but her turf is a land of booze-and-blues, sort of an unreal after-hours Never-Never-Land, where the queen isn't supposed to get sick like real folks do. Shug's audience only loves her when she sings, and her lovers only enjoy her while they are in bed with her. In the bright light of day, the Queen Honeybee's outspoken individualism, as well as her "bad," cigarette-smoking, gin-drinking reputation, repels people, and her sickness only intensifies that feeling of repulsion. People gossip about Shug ("slut, hussy, heifer") and turn their backs on her and her "nasty woman disease." This sordid image of Shug is a shocking
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