Joe Turner's Come and Gone Essay

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In the following essay, Anderson explores how Wilson's play illustrates that "in reclaiming the self by recovering the past, the individual becomes capable of constructing a future."

A character in August Wilson's play Joe Turner's Come and Gone tells a story about how he was "cure[d]" of playing in guitar contests. Called out to play his guitar for an unspecified prize offered by a white man, Wilson's character does his best to demonstrate his skill against his two black opponents until he realizes that the white man is tone deaf and cannot distinguish the quality of each man's music. All three players finally substitute volume for skill, and the white judge, unable to declare a winner, pronounces "all three . . . the best guitar player" and divides a paltry prize of twenty-five cents between the contestants with a "penny on the side."

The anecdote related by Wilson's character...

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This section contains 7,393 words
(approx. 19 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Joe Turner's Come and Gone Study Guide
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Joe Turner's Come and Gone from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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