Song of the Shank Themes & Motifs

Jeffery Renard Allen
This Study Guide consists of approximately 64 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Song of the Shank.
This section contains 2,706 words
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Racism

Tom is a blind, black man whose talents elevate him into the honored position of the public spotlight. Everyone, white and black, is amazed by his abilities. This thought is supported by many of the statements made by Tom, himself, as the novel, and Tom’s life progress. Tom does not believe that he, himself, is an African American and instead treats blacks as he believes the whites treat them. So, in many respects, the racism that is perpetuated is often exercised by Tom towards others.

Obviously, Tom is not the only prejudiced person during this time period. The first chapter in the present tense is in 1866, which is after the end of the Civil War, but there are several flashbacks to earlier years even before the war began. When Sharpe meets Eliza at the asylum, he is surprised that she suggests that Tom be examined...

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This section contains 2,706 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Song of the Shank Study Guide
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