Cane

“Kabnis is about to shake his fists heavenward. He looks up, and the night’s beauty strikes him dumb. He falls to his knees. Sharp stones cut through his thin pajamas. The shock sends a shiver over him. He quivers. Tears mist his eyes. He writhes.”

Toomer, Jean. “Kabnis.” Cane. New York: Liverright, 2011. 83. Print.

This scene seems very slowed down, taking the reader through the experience exactly how Kabnis most likely experienced it. By using broken up sentence fragments, like “tears mist his eyes”, Toomer brings the reader closer to the experience. We can feel the “night beauty strike us dumb”. Toomer’s suggested purpose of putting the reader’s through this African American teacher’s life, attempting to get as close to Kabnis’ true feelings as possible, is achieved through this short, fragmented style of writing.

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