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There are several important themes in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by...

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countrywide | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted July 18, 2012 at 12:14 AM via web

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There are several important themes in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines; describe how the author develops one of them.

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted July 18, 2012 at 12:30 AM (Answer #1)

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There are many themes in this work by Ernest J. Gaines, but one of the more interesting and/or ironic is the racial divisions that extend past black versus white into whites versus whites, and blacks versus blacks.  In this fictitious Louisiana community, the landowning whites look down on everyone else, even other whites--that is, the working class crowd of whites of Cajun descent.  While one might think that blacks might have a particular distaste for division upon people, given their tragic history, there is also a similar elitist structure where the light skinned Creole blacks descended from the original French who settled Louisiana look down on and refuse to interact with what they refer to as the "common blacks".  One character, Mary Agnes LeFarbre is actually disowned from her family after accepting employment alongside "common" blacks at a local plantation. 

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