Monday, February 2, 2009


Karintha is a desirable person, her skin like dusk. Even when she was a girl, she was wanted by the males around her. This piece likens her to a piece of fruit, the men wanting her to ripen instead of letting her mature normally. The old and young men want her sexually, Toomer using the word "mate" even to not even liken her to another human being but perhaps like a mere animal. As Karintha grows, she becomes even more desirable and admired for her beauty. The next paragraph describes Karintha at the age of twelve. She is described as a "wild flash" and likened to, "... a bit of vivid color, like a black bird that flashes in light" (Toomer, 3). The part of the day used here is significant, with the sunset used to help give imagery of Karintha darting away in the light. The dust is described as two-inches thick, with Karintha speeding off with the dust spiraling behind her. Karintha is unstoppable and like the dusk, impermanent and flighty. Adding to the bird imagery, the next line describing her high-pitched, shrill voice, goes on to make one feel that she is able to do whatever it is she wishes, and it is so. No matter if she causes trouble for the animals and children, the preacher thinks her cute and innocent with, "... she was as innocently lovely as a November cotton flower" (Toomer, 3). The usage of the term, "November cotton flower" is significant in that flowers, like beauty, will not last, especially outer beauty.

The next section deals with Karintha's sexualization, where this girl follows her parents example and has sex early on. It was stated that, "... to follow them was the way of God" (Toomer, 4). Karintha is now capable of sex and uses it. The young men return in this section, waiting and counting time for her. Again, her dusky beauty is repeated and soon enough, Karintha is now a young woman. She is still beautiful but still sexual, indulging the old men's wants but on her terms. The men do many things for her and still count time, but Karintha's the one in control. She will not be just a woman to have sex with and so defies her place with the birth of a stillborn child, birthed away from society and amongst the wilderness of the forest. Karintha returns later, her child's soul taken on the smoke up to heaven from the sawdust pile nearby once those in the know knew what she had done. Karintha's soul had grown up too quickly, the men left in the dark regarding this fact. Karintha at age twenty is a woman, still of dusky beauty, but at the end, the dusk of the eastern horizon. This horizon is dark with the sun gone down, Karintha going down also perhaps to Hell, but with a vague uncertain end.

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