Joe Turner's Come and Gone Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 68 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Joe Turner's Come and Gone.
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Identity

The primary theme in the play is the search for identity. Although Herald Loomis believes he is searching for his lost wife, Martha, the African conjurer, Bynum, lets him know that Herald is really searching for his song or identity. Herald has forgotten his song as a result of his seven-year enslavement by Joe Turner, a notorious Tennessee plantation owner that illegally enslaved free African Americans to work for him. Bynum tells Herald that Turner captured him, not just to work on his plantation, but to try to steal Herald's song. Says Bynum: "Now he's got you bound up to where you can't sing your own song. Couldn't sing it them seven years 'cause you was afraid he would snatch it from under you." Herald's plight is representative of many African Americans in this time period who felt cut off from their African heritage as a result of...

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This section contains 1,269 words
(approx. 4 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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