Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Act 2

Loomis kills himself in the end because he sees that he has been resurrected; he realizes that he can truly live a life worth living by starting new one because Martha says he does not need him anymore, she only wanted Zonia. Martha convinced herself that Loomis was dead so that she could move on and start her own life that didn’t involve sorrow and stress. Loomis was in search for her for years and the moment he sees her, she is almost unfazed because  she has already moved on. I think the ending by killing himself shows that he will start a new life, one that does not involve Martha and the sorrow that she has caused by her disappearance. Personally, I think Martha’s ‘new life’ was more noble in the sense that she stayed in reality and did not kill herself and let the problem overtake her. She reacted in a rational way. Loomis, on the other hand, kills himself, which seems pretty rash considering that he could have left and forgotten about his wife and daughter. Or was his sorrow too much for him to even think about a life without them? The afterlife, even depending on our beliefs, we do not know for certain what will happen or where we will go or whether or not we will actually go anywhere. I think that his action was rash, but in a sense, justified because his sorrow was so painful from all of the years of searching for Martha.

Bynum shouts at the end that Loomis is shining and in the beginning of the play, he was told to look for a shiny man to find the secret of life. Since Loomis was covered in blood from slashing himself, does he emulate the sight of Jesus on the cross? Both events caused each man to resurrect into a new life and they both sacrificed themselves for a certain cause. Jesus’s cause was selfless because it allowed us to sin, but Loomis’s action was more selfish because it allowed him to create a new life for himself; his action did not help anyone else like Jesus’s action did. I think they are similar in the sense of resurrection but nothing more than that. I think Bynum says he is shining because he found his own way in the world. Up until his death, Loomis was living a confused and sad life because of the hallucinations and Martha’s disappearance (the two might not be unrelated). At the point of his death, he has the realization of what his life should be according to him. The Secret of Life is that to live a fulfilling life, you need to find your place in the world; to find happiness. And to find that is different for each person. Loomis’s action worked for him, it might not work for everyone.

via Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Act 2.

4 thoughts on “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Act 2”

  1. You make a connection between Loomis’s hallucinations and Martha’s disappearance, insinuating that there is the possibility that the two could be connected. Do you have any ideas about in what capacity they could be connected, if they are?
    Additionally, I found your ideas about Loomis being compared to Jesus very interesting… I believe his actions are similar in certain ways, especially considering the context of the situation (and the fact that religion was even directly discussed at one point), but they were more selfish. He discovers the secret to life, but only as he leaves his life. What do you think about the significance of this theme within the context of the play?

    1. I really like the way you said “He discovers the secret to life, but only as he leaves his life.” Was the secret to life then that you have to be willing to end a life in order to start a new one? Or did Loomis realize that some people are not meant to be in your life and in order to make things right in the world again, he took himself back out of Martha’s life.

  2. I think the hallucinations and Martha are connected because Loomis is so concerned about finding her that it consumed him for years. He goes to church probably to pray that she will come back or find a way to search for her. I am unclear as to why the ‘spirits’ have taken over him in the end of act one, but I think it has to do with the secret of life. Since Bynum says he is the shining man at the end of the play, it means he holds the secret to life, which I interpreted that each person, to fulfill their life, has to find their own way to find happiness. Loomis finds it when he kills himself, he lets go of his sorrow. Martha finds it by convincing herself that Loomis is dead so that she can move on. I think the hallucinations definitely connect with Martha because his way to fulfillment is to kill himself to let go of his grief, and I think the hallucinations were a key as to how to continue his life, e just didn’t know at that point in the play.

    1. I really liked your ideas for all of the conclusions to the story lines in this play. I thought that Loomis was seen as the shiny man because his path in life was now complete and he could move on to a new path, which is kind of like what you said. The characters in this play were so complex and had so many motives and desires that it was hard to interpret all of them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.