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Portrait in Georgia

Portrait in Georgia

by Jean Toomer

Violence Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Hair—braided chestnut,
coiled like a lyncher's rope (1-2)

The elements of the victim's body are connected to the tools used to inflict violence. The victim and the offender are blended together in this way—through the means of their violence.

Quote #2

Eyes—fagots, (3)

"Fagots" are bundles of sticks, perhaps referring to the sticks to light the body on fire. Why would the victim's eyes be compared to a bundle of sticks? This line is the shortest in the poem with only two words. What is the effect of this brevity?

Quote #3

Lips—old scars, or the first red blisters, (4)

Notice how the lips are associated with wounds. Is there some sort of symbolism going on here? Has this victim been silenced by violence before, and can't speak because his or her lips are scarred and blistered?

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