Dust Tracks on a Road

by Zora Neale Hurston

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What does Zora find fascinating about the two visitors in Dust Tracks on a Road?

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In chapter 4, two young ladies visit Zora's school. Unusually, the two visitors don't give any warning that they are coming but rather show up unannounced.

When the two ladies come to Zora's class to hear the students read, Zora becomes fascinated with the way they look and particularly with their fingers. Zora describes their fingers as:

long and thin, and very white, except near the tips . . . [where] they were baby pink.

Zora is so fascinated by their fingers, she says, because she has never before seen any fingers (or any hands) quite like them. She calls the ladies' fingers "a fascinating discovery." She wonders what their fingers might feel like. Her fascination with the ladies' fingers is only interrupted when she is asked to take her turn reading.

After hearing her read, the ladies then present Zora with several gifts, some of which Zora finds fascinating. The most fascinating gifts for Zora are the books that the ladies give her. She is given a collection of Norse tales, for example, which she says struck "deeply into [her] soul."

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What does Zora find fascinating about the two visitors?

One day, a couple of white women from Minnesota pay a visit to Zora's school. While there, they are treated to readings from Zora and some other children in class. Zora is one of the best readers in the class, and her teacher Mr. Calhoun clearly wants to show her off to the visitors.

The women are so impressed by Zora's reading that they invite her back to their hotel room, where they get her to give more readings. There, they give her a gift of a cylinder filled with golden pennies. A month later, they send her a box of books and clothes.

Before she reads to the two ladies in class, Zora watches them intently. She finds almost everything about their appearance a source of fascination. For one thing, they both have shiny hair, mostly brownish. One of the ladies has a looping gold chain around her neck. Her companion is dressed all over in black and white and has a pretty finger ring on her left hand.

And speaking of fingers, that's what Zora finds most fascinating of all about the two ladies from Minnesota. Their fingers are long and thin, very white, expect for near the tips, which are baby pink. Zora has never seen such hands before; it's a truly fascinating discovery for her.

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