Joe Turners Come N Gone Essay

738 words - 3 pages

Melissa Skinner
Essay of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
Theatre Appreciation
September 18, 2013

The play Joe Turner’s Come and Gone written by a great playwright, August Wilson, which can be found in Anthology of Living Theatre. After reading, I can now share in my own words, what I think the purpose was. I will also share a few of my personal thoughts of who I think “Joe Turner” is and where “Joe Turner” may have gone.
To begin, this story is mainly about one man, Herald Loomis, and his journey to free himself from all he has been through within the wraths of slavery. Within his journey, he finds personal freedom, redemption, forgiveness and acceptance. It is a very dramatic, enthralling story of how different life after slavery was for some people. It gives insight to the audience of how the characters in this play may have been free from yet they weren’t really free at all.
As the main character in the play, Herald Loomis, an ...view middle of the document...

Herald then pleaded for Bynum to stop singing the song.
They tell me Joe Turner’s come and gone
Ohhh Lordy
They tell me Joe Turner’s come and gone
Ohhh Lordy
Got my man and gone
He come with forty links of chain
Ohhh Lordy


In Act II, Scene II, pages 511-512, Herald shares with Bynum the events leading to his own capture and enslavement by Joe Turner. Herald recalls never being able to actually see Joe Turner.
Bynum tells Herald that he is a man that has “lost his song,” because of what Joe Turner has done to him. I think by “losing his song,” Bynum actually meant Herald has lost his soul, spirit and heritage roots. He tells Herald that he was a man in constant search of something. I believe this to be true, as Herald was really searching for who he was as a person.
When Herald is finally reunited with his wife Martha in Act II, Scene V, pages 518-519, she asked Herald to let Jesus help him escape the binds of Joe Turner. As Martha talks to Herald about this he gets angry, yelling that no one has a bond over him. Herald then pulls out a knife only to cut himself. I felt as though by doing this it was his own of letting go of the evil and hateful feelings that Joe Turner had bestowed upon him.
In my personal opinion, Joe Turner is a generalized name of the evil white men who had enslaved African-American such as Herald Loomis. To those who had been enslaved, the white men was comparable to Satan. I think Joe Turner is another name Satan. Somewhat like how Jesus Christ is God’s other name to Christians.
When taken by Joe Turner, Herald lost his faith. Herald like many slaves, lost his way, his soul and his inner self. This story shares his journey of how he went in search to regain what Joe Turner had taken from him. Once he was reunited with Martha, Herald came to realize that he could now be free. He realized that he was no longer in the restraints of his capturers and could now continue his life normally. I think that Herald Loomis’ mental, emotional and psychological state of mind has released the evils of Joe Turner. This I believe, is where Joe Turner has gone. Herald was now free to find redemption, acceptance and most of all forgiveness.

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