Joe Turner's Come And Gone Character Analysis

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The play Joe Turner’s Come and Gone is a playwright set in the early twentieth century when many former slaves began to travel North in search of better opportunity. Taking place in an ever changing environment, each character that passes through Seth Holly’s inn has a very different past and a changing future. August Wilson uses these aspects of character and setting to tell his story, using characters stories as a platform to show the different ways of life that many ex slaves or freedmen had to adopt in order to survive the changing American landscape at the time. August Wilson focuses on characters individually as opposed to on a group basis. By doing so he allows for more character analysis and better background for each individual person. Because there is no…show more content…
Wilson also uses characters stories to incorporate the oral tradition of storytelling, as it was how the slaves had lived and recorded history prior to their emancipation, and was still a very big part of how they lived day to day life. An example of this would be Bynum’s story about the shining man. Bynum tells the audience (and Martha) about the shining man and the significance of how seeing the shining man made him decide he wanted to be a binding man. This is a significant part of Bynum’s life, for without this moment, Bynum could have ended up just like Herald Loomis—desperate and despaired, looking for someone or something to fulfill his life’s purpose. Bynum’s story about the burning man also shows the different styles of life back then, and the different cultures that moved from the South to the North, all in search of better life and better opportunity. By telling these long stories, August Wilson can also get more information across in one given swoop as opposed to if he had just made the scene
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