Paper 3 Final Draft

Overall many aspects affected toomer and his writings

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Overall, many aspects affected Toomer and his writings. On the one hand, as Davis suggests, Toomer’s experience while living in the South profoundly influenced his opinion on the African American culture. On the other hand, Foley offers another possibility of Toomer’s social status being the most important factor in Toomer’s writing. His exposure to the upper class impacted Toomer’s views on racial oppression in society. Both Davis and Foley offer reasonable arguments yet their arguments ignore Toomer’s largest influence. Waldo Frank and Sherwood Anderson hold responsibility for Cane ’s structure. As argued by Charles Scruggs, those two writers altered Toomer’s vision for Cane . Going further than Scruggs’ analysis, however, Toomer’s decision for a circular structure is clear when discussing the theme of his book. This is an analysis that Davis, Foley, and Scruggs all fail to make. Looking at Cane with a circular design can give us insight into the reason why Toomer wrote this novel. As stated in Byrd and Gates’ introduction, Toomer published under a different name “to distance himself from Cane and the racial identity of its author” (xxix). Toomer himself wanted to think of himself as American. He once wrote, “I am of the human race” (qtd. in Byrd and Gates xxxvii). If
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11 Jung that was the point Toomer wanted to get across, we can evaluate his novel with that in mind. Does the circular design of Cane prove that racial categories will never fully be ignored? More importantly, did Toomer’s influences change his view on race in general? Would he have structured Cane differently if he did not face racial and social difficulties growing up? The answers to these questions are still argued by many critics. But, a clear consensus may never be reached and we may never get full, satisfying answers to these questions. Word count: 3,168
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12 Annotated Bibliography Anderson, Sherwood. Winesburg, Ohio: Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Contexts, Criticism. Ed. Charles E. Modlin and Ray Lewis White. New York: W.W. Norton Winesburg, Ohio is a compilation of short stories revolving around George Willard, the central character. Most of the stories describe the lives of different characters in Winesburg and their connection to George. As told through the stories, George tries to achieve his dream of being an artist. As he interacts with the people of his town, George also learns about the grotesque sides of human nature. These stories eventually become the “Book of the Grotesques” that Willard writes about when he is a writer. This particular edition of Anderson’s novel also includes critical essays written by other authors discussing various topics about the novel. Charles Scruggs uses Anderson’s novel to connect it to Cane . Because Toomer and Anderson were friends, he argues that Winesburg, Ohio influenced Toomer and Cane . Sherwood Anderson is a very well known author. He wrote thirteen works of literature that got published. Some of them
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