Questions and Answers: Act I, Scenes 3-4
1. In Scene 3, what advice does Bynum give Jeremy, and why?
2. What is a Juba? Who participates in the Juba in Scene 4, and how? Who doesn’t take part?
3. How is it significant that the Juba is a cultural form that combines elements of African and Western traditions?
4. Describe Herald’s vision, and explain its significance.
5. What is the meaning of Herald’s paralysis at the end of Scene 4?
1. Bynum advises Jeremy to see the whole woman, not just her physical exterior. He urges Jeremy to recognize that a woman is a whole world and a way of life, and that a woman can offer him more than just a physical relationship; a woman can be all a man needs out of life, like water and berries. She can help a man grow and offer him comfort, just as his mother did when he was a child.
2. A Juba is a call and response dance similar to the Ring Shouts of African-American slaves. The Juba is rooted both in Christian doctrine (the boardinghouse participants’ Juba mentions the Holy Ghost) and in African spiritual traditions. Bynum calls the dance while Seth, Bertha, Mattie, Molly, and Jeremy clap and stomp around the kitchen table. Only Herald Loomis does not participate.
3. The Juba’s combination of Christian and African spiritual traditions is significant because it demonstrates the way that African-American cultural...
(The entire section is 376 words.)