Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's just a street past Sixth, and then you're there...

Jean Toomer’s Seventh Street is littered with interpretive symbols, and colorful imagery. It depicts the street itself, and focuses on the intense dichotomies of black and white, as well as the economic and social statuses of the inhabitants. Of these, the most noticeable is the “black reddish blood” (Toomer 41), and the flowing of said blood that ensues. The blood appears several times within the short prose/poem, contrasting sharply with the “whitewashed wood” (Toomer 41).

The blood is thrust onto the wood of Washington, symbolizing a covering of government that cannot be ignored. It is almost an attack; the thrusting implies force and combustion. As the blood overtakes the wall, the white is overcome by black. This black flow continues to overtake the rest of the street, implying a complete domination of culture. There are attempts to end this consumption (prohibition), but the pouring is too much. As the assimilation nears its completion, it mirrors smoke billowing near buzzards, a sign of deceased white culture being dissected.

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