Paper 3 Final Draft

Scruggs charles textuality and vision in jean toomers

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Scruggs, Charles. “Textuality and Vision in Jean Toomer’s Cane ”. Cane: Authoritative Texts, Contexts, Criticism . Ed. Rudolph P. Byrd and Henry L. Gates, Jr. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2011. 277-96. Print. Charles Scruggs’ essay discusses the influence of Waldo Frank and Sherwood Anderson on Toomer. He mentions the triptych as a model of how Anderson and Toomer’s novels were structured. Much of his essay focuses on the structure of Cane . He goes into immense detail with the specific stories and how they fit into the design of Toomer’s novel. Scruggs argues that out of the two authors, Waldo Frank had the larger influence on Cane . He differs from Foley and Davis because his argument hints at Toomer’s largest influence: other writers. Both Foley and Davis fail to mention this in their essays. However, Scruggs’ argument lacks description of why the circular design of Cane is appropriate for the novel. I was unable to find personal information on Scruggs and his credibility. However, he is a literary critic that has published numerous articles about African American literature. Another essay written by Scruggs, “The Reluctant Witness: What Jean Toomer Remembered from Winesburg, Ohio ” compares and contrasts Anderson’s novel and Toomer’s. Toomer, Jean. Cane: Authoritative Texts, Contexts, Criticism . Ed. Rudolph P. Byrd and Henry L. Gates, Jr. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2011. Print.
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19 Jung Toomer, Jean. "The Cane Years." 1980. Cane: Authoritative Texts, Contexts, Criticism . Ed. Rudolph P. Byrd and Henry L. Gates, Jr. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2011. 123-34. Print. “The Cane Years” gives a brief understanding of what Jean Toomer was like during the time that he was writing Cane . Although this is very similar to the introduction, The Cane Years provides personal insight about his own life. Toomer describes his relationships with his grandparents and his parents as well as different experiences that affected the writing of his book. He also describes other influences in his life, including different types of literature as well as the personal influences from close friends like Waldo Frank. It also includes Toomer’s personal thoughts and opinions. Although he did not publish any other large pieces of work, Cane brought him a lot of fame in the literary community. Toomer struggled a lot as a writer but he was able to publish small stories and poems in various journals while he was growing up. However, much of these descriptions of his life events are from his memory, which may be unreliable. This piece is well connected to the introduction provided by Byrd and Gates. They both discuss the life of Toomer but in different perspectives. Also, much of the information in both The Cane Years and the Introduction are the same. However, The Cane Years is a more personal account of Toomer’s life and more detailed in his personal thoughts and feelings. This source is very useful and reliable because it is not often that an author gives a personal biography of his or her own life.
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20 Toomer, Jean. “To Waldo Frank”. 12 March 1922.
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