Reservation Blues Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What does the man who Thomas meets at an intersection on the reservation first say to Thomas?

The man says that he will not shake hands because The Gentleman might hear, but he introduces himself as Robert Johnson. Johnson says he has come to the reservation in search of a particular woman. He says he made a bad deal years ago, and he needs the woman's help to get rid of his sickness.

2. Why is Robert Johnson at the reservation, and what does Thomas say to him about Big Mom?

Johnson says he has been running from The Gentleman ever since Johnson faked his death in 1938. Thomas says that the woman Johnson describes sounds like Big Mom, and Johnson asks Thomas to take him to Big Mom, but Thomas says that only special people get to go. A person must be invited. Johnson says that he is sure that he is invited, and he gets into Thomas's van. Johnson says that he sold his soul to The Gentleman, and he hopes Big Mom can help him get it back.

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