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Cane by Jean Toomer

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  1. 'Cane' by Jean Toomer depicts double consciousness based on the short stories it provides
  2. Becky and Karintha's are some of the short stories that portray double consciousness as will be discussed

Double consciousness is defined as a concept that describes an individual as having an identity divided into several parts. This makes it difficult for an individual to have a sole unified identity. As such, a person with double consciousness may be considered to have two thoughts, two souls or two un-reconciled perceptions towards a certain way of life. This context mainly related to racial relations mainly among American blacks or Negros. Historically, black Americans have always had issues with identity with the American culture. As such, double consciousness makes individuals to have a perception of their own self and world perception.

[...] Karintha is described as a woman filled with beauty from her young age. skin is like dusk, when the sun goes down.? (Toomer p. The author describes her as beautiful young lady whose beauty can be compared to the scenery that is always present when the sun is setting down. As such, her skin blossoms make men both young and old to want to mate with her. wanted her carrying beauty Everybody wanted Karintha and the old men even prayed for God to grant them youthful age. [...]


[...] This makes, Becky to view herself as an outcast in the white community. Secondly, racial discrimination that causes conscious concerns is also portrayed from the African American community. This community considers Becky as being crazy, having no self respect and poor. In their assertions, the African American community says that low down nigger no self respect poor white? (Toomer p. 84-85). This community also condemns Becky's mixed children and considers it as a form of lack of respect. They are perturbed by the fact that Becky had the urge to lay with a black man. [...]


[...] The author portrays dehumanizing body exchange and social barriers. This is considered as a lack of rights for women in the community since Katrina's youth is selfishly destroyed by men. As such, double consciousness emerges in this short story since the world, in this case, men, view Karintha as a prostitute who provides them with sexual satisfaction. On the other hand, Karintha views herself as an adult at a young age capable of engaging in adult hood activities. Later, she hates men after feeling ashamed of her acts. [...]

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