Uncle Monday Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Uncle Monday.
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Uncle Monday Summary & Study Guide Description

Uncle Monday Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Uncle Monday by Zora Neale Hurston.

The following version of this story was used to create this study guide: Hurston, Zora Neale. “Uncle Monday.” The Complete Stories of Zora Neale Hurston. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1995. 106 – 116. Print.

"Uncle Monday" is set in a rural village in Florida. The central character, Uncle Monday, is a hoodoo conjurer who mysteriously appeared in the village one day and took up residence. No one knows anything about him except for his name and his proficiency in hoodoo. The first time he was seen, he appeared to walk directly out of a nearby lake. Uncle Monday then built a small shack in which to reside. He became a popular source of hoodoo services. One day, a woman found him in the shack with a severe arm wound. He then disappeared for a month, after which time two men saw an alligator-like creature one night. The creature shed its arm skin. The next day, Uncle Monday was back in town with no injuries. Uncle Monday has claimed to have died years ago and returned from the afterlife.

Some villagers believe that some of Uncle Monday’s powers are conferred to him by a magical diamond called a singing stone. The narrative then digresses into a detailed exposition of the singing stone’s powers and origins. It is produced by magical snakes in Lake Maitland, and the only way to take a stone from one of the snakes is by either killing or tricking the snake. The narrator then relates an anecdote about resident Mary Shaw, who was engaged to be married until she fell in love with another man. Even Uncle Monday was powerless to change her, and she proceeded to have many romantic partners in her life. In a following anecdote, a resident named John Hogan impregnated a young woman named Dinkie and refused to marry her. Dinkie’s mother, Mrs. Bradley, approached Uncle Monday, who facilitated a hoodoo ritual that killed Hogan.

The other hoodoo doctor in the village was a woman named Judy Bickerstaff. She had lived in the village long before Uncle Monday’s arrival, and she resented Monday because he became the more popular conjurer. She began to boast that she was the better conjurer. Then, Monday used his powers to lure Judy to a lake one night. He magically bound her to the waters of the lake and demonstrated his control over wildlife, such as alligators. Judy, impressed and frightened, conceded that Monday was the superior conjurer. The story concludes by stating that, on nights when the large alligator of the nearby lake can be heard, the townspeople say that Monday must be in the lake visiting his family.

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This section contains 447 words
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