Mules and Men Part II, Chapter Three: Questions and Answers

Zora Neale Hurston

Part II, Chapter Three: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How long is Zora with Pierre before he starts preparing her for her crown?

2. How long must Zora sit on the couch and read the third chapter of Job?

3. Why won’t Muttsy Ivins leave town?

4. How is the beef heart prepared in Pierre’s death ritual?

5. Why is a figure of Death placed on the altar?

6. How long are the cat and chicken left in the grave?

7. What must Pierre and Zora do every night at twelve o’clock during the death ritual?

8. How long must the black candles burn on the altar?

9. Where does Pierre sleep every night during the death ritual?

10. Describe the ritual that causes swelling.

Answers
1. Pierre starts preparing for Zora’s crown at the end of the first week of Zora’s apprenticeship.

2. Zora must sit on the couch and read from the third chapter of Job “night and morning for nine days.”

3. Muttsy Ivins has a lucrative trucking company and does not want to leave it.

4. The beef heart is split open, a piece of paper with the name of the victim written nine times is placed within the heart, and the heart is then closed with eighteen steel needles. The heart is then placed in a jar of bad vinegar and pointed downward.

5. The figure of Death is placed on the altar in order to protect Zora and Pierre from the forces of Death.

6. The cat and the chicken are left in the grave for a full month.

7. Pierre and Zora burn nine black candles in a barrel, and every night at twelve o’clock they go to the barrel and call on the spirit of Death to go to the victim.

8. Pierre says that the candles must burn for 90 days.

9. Pierre sleeps in a “black draped coffin” near his altar for 90 days.

10. A new brick is stolen and the victim’s name is written nine times on a piece of paper. The paper is then placed face down on the brick and tied to the brick with twine. Nine black candles are prepared by writing the victim’s name on each one. While one black candle burns each day for nine days, a well is dug until it reaches water, and the brick is placed in the well. The victim will swell as the brick absorbs water.