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During his stay toomer wrote a large portion of cane

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Unformatted text preview: During his stay, Toomer wrote a large portion of Cane. He ultimately returned to New York by the time he completed writing Cane in 1923 (Byrd and Gates 445-447). 84 In his essay, Charles Davis focuses solely on the time period Jean Toomer spent in Georgia and he claims that this was most important to Toomer when he wrote Cane . Although obvious influences from the South appear in the text of Cane , Davis’ argument is incomplete. According to him, “The event that provoked Toomer’s emergence as an artist…was the period of three months in 1921 which Toomer spent in Georgia” (250). Toomer’s experience in the South contrasted immensely with his experience in the North. Aside from the fact that the North was urban and the South was rural, the atmospheres of the two regions were also different. In the Georgia, there was a physical and spiritual aspect that Toomer was drawn to. He notes, “the setting was crude in a way, but strangely rich and beautiful” (qtd. in Davis 250). But furthermore, “the artist was moved by the spirituals sung…he was touched…by the sense that they represented a dying folk-spirit” (Davis 250). As Davis points out in his essay, Toomer was attracted to these qualities of the South: the land, the spirit, and what they both represented to the African Americans. This attraction is what guided Toomer in writing Cane . Davis further argues how Toomer’s South, created both in his mind and in the text of Cane , exemplifies a consciousness of the narrator in the particular story. In the “Song of the Son”, this consciousness is a “sophisticated intelligence yearning for completion…and finding the means for achieving [this] in contact with the South and the newly discovered black culture” (Davis 255). Davis argues that the context of the South helps us understand the real emotions and experiences of Toomer’s characters. He goes further to say that this consciousness is also responsible for the circular design of Cane . Toomer “sees the necessity for regional connection, for the Northern black to acquire the emotional strengths that black Southerners still possess” (Davis 256). The circular movement of the 85 Jung consciousness progresses from North to South to North. It begins with “Bona and Paul” in Chicago, moving to the South in “Kabnis” and then returns back to the North in “Box Seat” and “Harvest Song.” Davis explains: We begin with ‘Bona and Paul’…frustration, then, is accompanied by the intimation of a new connection, ‘awakening’…’Kabnis’ is the direct confrontation with what it means to be black in the South…the progress of consciousness moves next to the North where city realities are weighed against Southern black strength (257-258)....
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During his stay Toomer wrote a large portion of Cane He...

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