Cane Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 89 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Cane.
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Race and Racism

This book deals with the issue of race on several different levels. Most obviously, there is the way that blacks are treated within American society, both in the South and in the North. In the South, the element of danger is always present. For instance, Becky is rejected by both blacks and whites for the crime of having crossed the color line, having sex with a black man and becoming impregnated by him. There is suspicion of blacks by whites, such as the sheriff in "Esther" who keeps a close eye on the man who is in the throes of religious ecstasy because "y cant never tell what a nigger like King Barlo might be up t." For the most part, this suspicion is enough to keep the blacks in their place. Kabnis sees Hanby, his employer, intellectualizing his own fear when he tells him that...

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This section contains 1,267 words
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Cane from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.