Both Fernie and Blanche have a peculiar effect on men, somehow drawing them in without appearing to be interested in any romantic or sexual action whatsoever; this paradox entices many lovers who all feel a strange attachment to these women afterward. A parallel can be drawn to the creamy whiteness of Fernie’s mulatto complexion and Blanche’s name meaning ‘white’ in French: both women intrinsically posses the illusion of virginal virtue that overlaps their blatant sexuality. The unnamed visitor from the North in Crane described Fernie’s eyes as those that ‘desired nothing you could give her… [but] men saw her eyes and fooled themselves’ (Toomer 648), creating a mass following of men who after having affairs with her become ob...
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...stood by those who surround them. Mental illness does not discriminate among sex, age, or social status, and it becomes very clear that both of these women are lost when it comes to providing a stable, healthy lifestyle for themselves. Fernie and Blanche encounter a common enemy in men everywhere, men who only wish to use and desert them, but in the process become so enraptured by their allure that they end up destroying both women on the inside. Their passion is toxic, and yet both women seem to remain chaste and virginal to each new man they encounter, restarting the process all over again and dooming themselves entirely. In a perfect world, there would be no need for these women to continue their dalliances with men, but as they are both equally addicted to the thing that destroys them, the reader must sit back and watch as they both self-destruct entirely.
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