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Discussing the Artistic Merits of the Joe Turners Come and Gone

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The play is divided into two acts: acts one and two. The former is made of four scenes running from scene one to four. Act two on the other hand is made up of scenes one up to scene five. Joe Turners Come and Gone is a tragedy wherein the plight of the African-American is portrayed in light of the social relations they have with one another and the white race. In the play, there is a clear depiction of private struggles, struggle with social injustice and a bothersome family situation. All these are made evident as characters interact with Seth Holly and Seth’s wife, Bertha, in their boardinghouse.
There are three themes that are revealed in the play. One of the most noticeable themes is that is revealed in the play is racism and racial discrimination. It is apparent that the characters involved such as Jeremy have run to the North, away from the slaveholding South. Although Jeremy Bynum Walker and the Hollys take the prospects of employment and freedom in the North, they find the North not so different from the slaveholding South. For instance, Jason is wrongfully arrested with trumped up charges of being drunk and disorderly (Wilson, 1984, Act I, Scene I).
This form of discrimination mentioned above makes all the characters living in the boardinghouse and subjects them to numerous cases of exploitation. For instance, Jeremy becomes a victim of larceny as the very people who are supposed to accord him protection from unlawful harm, the police take his money. In a case that may be likened to bleeding a leech to fatten a heifer, the foreman also takes Jeremy’s money even though it is clear that he is wealthier than Jeremy (Wilson, 1984, Act I, Scene I).
The aforementioned culture of exploitation is seen to negatively impact the characters in the play. Selig, a character who is paid to produce people he has relocated is trying to squeeze the largest sum of money possible from Seth.