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March 29, 2005

Bloody Moon

Full moons have long been thought to make people crazy, and "Blood-Burning Moon" by Jean Toomer is no exception.

Really, what drove the white people in the story to burn Tom at the stake?? Was it the fact that Bob's throat had been slit? Was it the heat of the day? Or was it the full moon?

In my book (I don't know if everyone has the same edition), on page 67 it says that "Louisa, upon the step before her home, did not hear [the yelling], but her eyes opened slowly. They saw the full moon glowing in the great door. The full moon, an evil thing, an omen, soft showering the homes of folks she knew. Where were they, these people?"

Louisa is totally oblivious to the fact that Bob, her white master/lover has been killed by Tom, her pursuer and friend. She thinks that if she sings the people ("they" in the last line quoted above) will come out to join her--she even thinks that maybe Tom will come.

Um, hate to break it to you, but Tom's a little tied up at the moment.
Tied up and bound to become ashes at the rate they're feeding the fire with kerosene...

It's been speculated that the full moon effects fertility, murder rates, and many other variables in life. However, this has never been proven, and although superstitious it seems interesting to consider. The moon's phases DO affect the oceanic tides (gravitational pull).

The dates for full moons in 2005 can be found here.

Does anyone think that the title "Blood-Burning Moon" has anything to do with the fact that it was a full moon? I've noticed symbolism with colors prevalent throughout the story as well, but the red moon is more rare. (In the book of Revelations in the Bible, the red moon (also refered to in shades of blood) is symbolic of death and the second coming).

Posted by KarissaKilgore at March 29, 2005 10:33 PM


Ahh cool, you did find some nifty info. ;c)

Posted by: moira at March 31, 2005 12:37 PM

This is a little off track...well way off, but when he ran to tell the people about when Tom slit his throat it reminded me of the Boston Massacre when the little kid ran to tell a group of people he had been hit by the customs guard and then an angry mob came back. nothing to do with the story, but just a comparison i saw.

Posted by: Philmore Mills at March 31, 2005 6:07 PM

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