Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Blood Burning Moon (Analysis)

Blood Burning Moon Analysis

The short story "Blood Burning Moon" by Jean Toomer in 1923 tells the story of two men, one black, one white, lusting for the same black woman named Louisa. The story defines racial tensions between white Americans and every other non-white citizen. The white man Bob Stone feels that he "owns" Louisa since she works for his father. Bob does not respect her because "she is just a nigger." Tom Burwell, the black man is bitter at the relationship between whites and blacks saying that a white man can come in his house whenever they want and blacks can't do the same. Bob, lusting for Louisa one night decides to sneak down to the negro camps to make love to her. He is arguing within himself debating why he shouldn't walk right to her instead of hiding. Bob and Tom end up in a confrontation and Tom kills Bob. As soon as the white men find this out a mob forms and burns Tom at the stake. This story, no matter how insane it sounds is a true depiction of the racial wars that went on long after slavery was abolished. Blacks were still consider things to be owned and lynch mobs were the tool that kept those unwritten laws in effect.


  1. I just finished reading "Blood-Burning Moon" for my 1920s literature course. I wondered what others' reactions were and came across this post. Thanks for your summary and take on the story.

  2. I just read the story today. I thought it was an interesting and perhaps unusual plot point that Tom, who was killed outside the law, was not an innocent. He killed Bob, possibly a homicide.