James Weldon Johnson | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 5 pages of analysis & critique of James Weldon Johnson.
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SOURCE: "Femininity and the Harlem Experience: A Note on James Weldon Johnson," in CLA Journal, Vol. XXIX, No. 1, September, 1985, pp. 52-56.

In the following essay, Koprince relates Johnson's presentation of women as temptresses or as saintly mothers in the poems of God's Trombones to his impression of Harlem in the 1920s.

God's Trombones (1927), James Weldon Johnson's collection of folk sermons in verse, has long been celebrated for its innovative language1—in particular, for its rhythmic, free-verse lines, which recreate the art of the "old-time Negro preacher."2 But these poetic sermons can also be examined profitably in terms of the literary characters which occur in them. A study of the women in Johnson's sermons, for example, not only reveals the poet's attitude toward the female sex, but, in a broader sense, helps to explain his enchantment with Harlem during the 1920s—the same Harlem which Johnson evokes so vividly...

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This section contains 1,409 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Susan J. Koprince
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Critical Essay by Susan J. Koprince from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.