Barracoon Setting & Symbolism

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Kossula’s House

Kossula’s home in Plateau, Alabama (originally named Africa Town) constitutes the most important space in Barracoon as the site of Kossula’s conversations with Hurston. It is the only home Kossula had ever known, outside of his country in Africa (not counting the Meaher plantation where he was briefly enslaved). The house constitutes a vessel for Kossula’s memories (in one of the final passages of the book, Hurston describes the place as his “house full of thoughts”) and therefore can be understood as an extension of himself, as a site that shared some of his most formative experiences and his greatest tragedies (94). Indeed, Kossula uses the inhabitants of the house as a barometer of his loneliness, one of the important themes of the text. After recalling the loss of his children, he told Hurston “de house was full, but now it empty,” using...

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This section contains 1,448 words
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Buy the Barracoon Study Guide
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