The character of Herald Loomis and the Binding song
August Wilsons Joe Turners come and gone is a play with deep roots going all the way down the time when the abolition of slavery caused a lot of changes in the lives of black people. As a beginning of a new period in their existance it was a critical moment, and therefore a lot of difficulties were experienced back then. All of them were looking for a better future and hoped to find their family members, find their place in life or in other words to build everything they used to have anew. August Wilson does an outstanding job in analyzing the life of black people back in 1911 when they were at the start of their regeneration in their attempt to restore something that has once been destroyed to the foundation their inner worlds and unity.
Bynum Walker is the main character of the play. He is the old man who presents the theme of the Binding song to the spectator. This song is a metaphor, which is deftly used in order to show the unity, which black people used to have, and which they are to obtain again. At the same time it also means that each person has to find his own song or basically saying each person has to find a separate way in life which will correspond to what a person really is inside. This song represents a dream that black people have and want to achieve in general and each black persons dream in concrete. It is something like a prayer that helps to survive or a small flicker of light in the mind that generates self-sufficiency.
Herald Loomis is another black male character who appears as a secretive, closed, strange and mysterious person. He appears along with his daughter Zonia. The theme of the Binding song enters his life at the moment when he opens his soul to Bynum. It is this exact theme that makes Loomis convert from a gray unhappy, tormented and a man trying to hide hopelessness in his eyes, into a shinning man, a man who has finally found his place in life and is ready to start everything again right.
The development of the character of Loomis is quite bright. Having experienced so many hardships and having spend seven years doing hard labor, Loomis has only one aim to find his wife Martha. His whole essence is full of anger and moral weariness. Bynum shares something very special with his. This personage settles hope in Loomiss heart. He puts a little light into his should that starts sinning more and more until it upstages all the anger inside Loomis. He feels that he is not alone in this world anymore and the he is still capable of doing something worthy in his life.
The theme of the binding song gives Loomis the strength to find his own way, to fix what was once broken: to return his daughter Zonia to her lost mother Martha. The Binding song is the metaphor of hope that each person needs in order to stay strong no matter what. Loomis gets this hope from Bynum Walker and it makes his heart pure and filled with hope. The Binding song becomes a dream in Loomiss heart and mind. It is a dream about the happiness and new life that is waiting for him somewhere.
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