Go Down, Moses Themes

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This Study Guide consists of approximately 23 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Go Down, Moses.
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Freedom

"Go Down, Moses," a spiritual with its origins in the slave community of the southernUnited States, adopts the Biblical story of Moses from the book of Exodus to express the unquenchable desire for freedom felt by the African Americans held in captivity. Any study of the body of spirituals will reveal that this hunger is the clear and overriding theme of the genre. In his detailed study of the origins and meanings of the African-American spirituals, Black Song: The Forge and the Flame, John Lovell, Jr. states that "There is hardly a better way to nail down the Afro-American spiritual than to describe the central passion of it and its creators— a thing called freedom."

While Lovell indicates that freedom is the theme of every spiritual, in many songs it is obscured in some way. Too obvious an expression of this longing could frequently be dangerous; therefore, many...

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This section contains 965 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Go Down, Moses Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Go Down, Moses from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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