Mules and Men Part II, Chapter Three: Summary and Analysis
by Zora Neale Hurston

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Part II, Chapter Three: Summary and Analysis

New Characters:
Anatol Pierre: another hoodoo doctor in New Orleans.

Muttsy Ivins: a local man who seeks Anatol Pierre’s help. Mr. Ivins has an enemy he wants eliminated.

Anatol Pierre is another doctor who works in the French Quarter. Unlike Luke Turner, Pierre is not very aloof and quickly accepts Zora as a student once he hears of the people with whom Zora has already worked. Zora undergoes another initiation ritual and quickly becomes Pierre’s student.

Soon after Zora becomes a disciple of Pierre, a man called Muttsy Ivins comes in and asks Pierre to help him with one of his enemies. Ivins claims that he found things outside his house and fears for his life, but Pierre knows that Ivins has been sleeping with his enemy’s wife and wants the man out of the way. Nevertheless, Pierre agrees to take his case. Zora assists him in setting up a ritual that assures the man’s death within 90 days, which comes to pass.

Pierre also becomes annoyed that one of his competitors is actively stealing his customers, so he places a curse on the man that will cause swelling. Zora is called on to perform the actual ritual.

Though Anatol Pierre seems to be a man of less impressive faith than Luke Turner, his temple and area of study is all the more impressive. Although the initiation ritual is presented in just as rich detail as the ritual with Luke Turner, Zora’s own thoughts are not presented, probably because to present them would be slightly redundant. Zora has already undergone several rituals, and although she is definitely respectful of the mysticism of hoodoo, she is not affected as a proselyte might be. Since the reader is already aware of the solemnity of the ritual, there is no need to remind of that solemnity again. The ritual is presented here so that the reader may compare and contrast the specific elements of the ritual, just as Zora no doubt did while she was a student.

There is a lot of material here that might confuse and annoy the reader skeptical of the actual power of hoodoo. First, Anatol Pierre displays omniscient knowledge,...

(The entire section is 559 words.)