Fernie May Rosen, the central character of “Fern,” is beautiful but unhappy. She is the illegitimate daughter of a black woman and a white Jewish man, and she is thus doubly a social outsider. She spends most of her days listlessly sitting on the porch of her rural Georgia home, the languid object of many men’s desires. Her remoteness and sexual indifference lead her many lovers to abandon her, but they remain forever under her spell and bring her gifts as signs of their adoration.
In “Blood-Burning Moon,” Tom Burwell is portrayed as a gentle introvert. When he is frustrated by his inability to express his feelings for Louisa, however, he flies into a rage, leading to the story’s tragic conclusion....
(The entire section is 297 words.)