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If the fabric of Cane is the life essence and its meaning behind absurdity then Jean Toomers women characters are the threads which weave cane togetherperhaps they are all the same women archetypal women all wearing different faces but each possessing an identifiable aspect of womanhood Jean Toomer Cane pg257 In Toomers Cane the struggle of women in the South is seen vividly throughout the first section of the book Toomer portrays these women in a very sympathetic vein and shows how women are victimized by a patriarchal society In the following paragraphs I will discuss the theme of women in conflict with man and nature and how these themes relate to the various characters in the book In the first novel titled Karintha Toomer tells a story of a young lad who was a victim of her own beauty Toomers poetic beauty is very descriptive and is seen when he describes Karinthas beauty as perfect as dusk when the sun goes down Even the minister forgives her indiscretions by calling herinnocently lovely as a November cotton flower Karinthas perfect beauty is a double edged sword for its the source of admiration wanted and wanted and is misunderstood and misused According to Benson Karinthas true beauty lies in the spirit not the flesh Benson is alluding to the opening passages of Karintha when Toomer mentions that her skin is like dusk on in the eastern horizon this description is very mystical yet transient and is sufficient evidence for Bensons spiritual beauty conclusion Other critics have also touched upon this subject according to Houston Baker Men are attracted to the heroine but fail to appreciate whats of value The Karintha titled section of the book is intended to give the reader a realistic view of a particular type of girl in Southern culture Its implications are very vague but what is starkly evident is Karinthas struggle moreover Karinthas reversion to primitivism shows her desperation and
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