Barracoon Themes

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Loneliness and Loss

At the heart of Barracoon is a single man’s testimony of loss and a growing sense of solitude. One of the first things that Kossula tells Hurston when she comes to visit him is “I so lonely” (18). This sentiment gestures at multiple kinds of loneliness, including an existential variety: being lonely for his homeland and the family he was taken from as a young man. It also speaks to his unique place in history, as one of the only men who lived through the transitions of leaving Africa for America, and the transition of leaving slavery for freedom once on American soil. While he shared certain of these milestones with other members of his tribe who were brought from Africa, he was the youngest of them all, and outlived most of them, making him a man of singular experience by the time Hurston caught up...

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This section contains 2,165 words
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Buy the Barracoon Study Guide
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