Zora Neale Hurston Writing Styles in Barracoon

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Structure

The structure of Hurston’s narrative reifies particular themes of Kossula’s experience, especially the way she devotes an equal number of chapters to Kossula’s time in Africa to his time in America. This authorial decision helps the reader understand one of the main themes of the text, which is the bifurcated nature of Kossula’s life and his unique position as a member of two distinct cultures and worlds. By granting a roughly equal number of pages and chapters to Kossula's time on each continent, Hurston gestures at his two most significant life experiences, coming of age in Africa and navigating post-emancipation in America. It’s interesting too that his time in bondage constitutes a single, very brief chapter in the oral history of his life, despite it being arguably the single greatest injustice he endures.

Hurston also structures certain individual chapters in the book...

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This section contains 772 words
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Buy the Barracoon Study Guide
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