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A Summer Tragedy
A Summer Tragedy
A Summer Tragedy
A Summer Tragedy
A Summer Tragedy
A Summer Tragedy
A Summer Tragedy
A Summer Tragedy
A Summer Tragedy
A Summer Tragedy
A Summer Tragedy
A Summer Tragedy
A Summer Tragedy
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A Summer Tragedy

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    • 1. By Arna Bontemps
    • 2.  1902 – 1973 Born in Alexandria,Louisiana His father was a Creolebricklayer and his motherwas a school teacher When he was three hisfather was threatened bytwo drunk white men andthe family moved toCalifornia
    • 3.  As His parents sent him to San Fernando Boarding School His father instructed him to not “go up there actingcolored” Bontemps never forgot this moment and resented theefforts to make him forget his heritage Graduated from Pacific Union College in 1923 In 1924 he accepted a teaching position in Harlem Married a former student, Alberta Johnson in 1926 He became closely connected to Harlem Renaissanceartists such Countee Cullen, Zora Neil Hurston andLangston Hughes, whom he worked closely with
    • 4.  He published his first poems in Crisis and Opportunityin 1924 A Summer Tragedy was written in 1932 during themidst of the depression That same year he moved to Alabama to teach atOakwood Junior College From 1943-1965 he was librarian at Fisk University inTennessee Died of a heart attack in 1973 He is the author of numerous poems, short stories andbooks
    • 5.  After the emancipationof African Americanslaves sharecroppingbecame a new form ofslavery A form of land leasewhere they worked aportion of the land for ashare of the profits thatcame from the crops
    • 6.  The sharecropper would purchase all that was needed:seeds, food and equipment from the company store The store would allow them to keep a tab which wassettled when the crops, usually cotton, were gathered In the end the sharecropper was always short andwould have to start the year at a deficit This was a vicious cycle getting the sharecropperdeeper into debt The work was hard labor and led to physical andmental destruction
    • 7.  Realism – the characters speak with the speech ofsouthern sharecroppers The reality of the characters’ lives is demonstrated
    • 8.  Jeff – old broken down, share farmer, fingers brokendown, limps Does go out much, poor, clothes are moth eaten Jennie – blind, thin, voice is like a whisper, frail, death-like Relationship – rely on each other, Jennie is Jeff’s support system – bow tie They love each other – “baby” In pain but support each other on the edge of the bed– bow tie Vernacular Speech – southern sharecroppers
    • 9.  Planning a tragic event –- Dress in black- Panic attack outside- Waiting around to leave – she pushes him on andgrows impatient- Jeff’s hands shaking- Wishes the car would take longer to start – up
    • 10.  The heat is strangling Jeff The land is in disorganized – no fences – everyoneshares in the poverty Shed is falling Car is falling apart Even the “frizzly chickens” were dying Delia’s house is described in detail – and so all theshare farmers live in these hopeless conditions
    • 11.  Change their minds 6 times – difficult decision- p. 3 “No, baby, I ain’t scairt.”- p. 4 “You know we agreed-we gotta keep on goin’.”- p. 5 “It don’t make a speck o’ difference though,…wegunna be in debt to old man Stevenson…It took us along time to learn that Feel they have no choice Dead inside – no hope for a future – debt Loss of life - Children
    • 12.  Jeff is the one that struggles with the decision – takes thereader along Control s the decision Male Point of View – responsible for his family Lost his courage - weak, panic attacks Can no longer take care of his family POV changes to Jennie’s when they passed Delia’s house Need to include her struggle – she begins to cry and Jeffmust be strong Final POV – Omniscient – the car sinks and the reader isthe spectator – from above
    • 13.  Many “summer tragedies” have brought them to thismoment The Death of prosperity - will always be in debt The Death of their children – victims of raciststructured system The Death of his youth – Slim Burns killed Joe Heasley Death of Jeff’s health – the stroke Death of Jennie’s eyesight – loss of independence The Theme is Death

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