The Blues I'm Playing Essay

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In the following excerpt, Bone discusses the conflict between Oceola Jones and Dora Ellsworth and the significance of the blues to the story.

[T]he complex vision of the blues, even as it balances the claims of hope and disillusionment, absorbs both attitudes in a higher synthesis. The blues, as Richard Kostelanetz has remarked, is a "tightly organized lyric form in which the singer narrates the reasons for his sadness, usually attributed to his failure to attain the ideal role he conceives for himself." The blues are born, in short, out of the inexorable tension of dream and actuality. By mediating poetically between the two, the form itself makes possible a bittersweet and retrospective triumph over pain.

The centerpiece of The Ways of White Folk is "The Blues I'm Playing." This story is a fictional account of Hughes's relationship with [his former patron], Mrs. Mason. The black...

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This section contains 688 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Blues I'm Playing Study Guide
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