In the essay Myth and Narrative Fiction in Cane: “Blood-Burning Moon”, Alain Solard uses the various settings and motivations of the characters to examine whether Toomer uses the story to initiate protest or if the motif is utilized to depict the passions of the “southern collective soul”. Solard uses the first part of the essay to delve into the heightened interplay of visual and auditory contrasts, especially Black folk symbols like the “Blood Burning Moon” which symbolizes impending doom and evil. Another element of Black folk tradition that Toomer draws on, according to Solard, is the incantation that is rooted in the repetition of slow and drawn out sounds, words, and rhythms that interact with each other to create a soulful effect. Solard emphasizes how the “Blood-Burning Moon” is a tale of Southern Blacks with a vernacular reminiscent of the blues to symbolize the “inescapable tragedy of Negroes in America”. Solard argues that the white character that Toomer uses (Bob Stone) represents an intersection between folklore and history because his actions reflect his “nostalgia for a vanished supremacy and his own yearning for a fusion with blackness”, which is portrayed through his attraction to Louisa. Overall, the essay draws on the duality of the humanity, the race, the natural, and the mythical elements of “Blood-Burning Moon” to show contrasting elements of awareness for racism, whilst also romanticizing the elements of Black folklore.
Solard, Alain. “Myth and Narrative Fiction in Cane: “Blood-Burning Moon”.” Callaloo, no. 25 (1985): 551-62. Accessed February 27, 2020. doi:10.2307/2930826.