Blood-Burning Moon Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How is Jean Toomer's racial background significant?

During his life, Toomer lived as an African-American and a white man because he could "pass" for white. He straddled the world of inequality and privilege.

2. "Cane," the novel from which "Blood-Burning Moon" is included, is credited with ushering in what important social movement?

"Cane" is credited by some as ushering in the Harlem Renaissance, which included work by prominent African-American writers, artists, and musicians.

3. What is Toomer's educational background and how is it significant?

The ideas gleaned from Toomer's study of philosophy, idealism, socialism, science, naturalism and atheism appear throughout his work, including "Cane."

4. What literary genres does Toomer employ in "Cane" and why is it significant?

Toomer's use of poetry, prose poems, lyrical narratives, and short stories in "Cane" create an influential and innovative hybrid novel.

5. What is the setting of "Blood-Burning Moon"?

"Blood-Burning Moon" is set in the rural South, where the divisions between rich and poor, black and white are profound.

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