"Are you seriously considering the possibility of a man's being turned into a tree," questions John of his wife in Charles Chesnutt's novel The Conjure Woman. His attention to the supernatural in the stories told by Uncle Julius lead him to miss the significance of the themes behind the stories. Rather than understanding, the humanity of the slave and his need for love he simply focuses on the fact that he Sandy becomes a tree.
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showed last 75 words of 747 total
John's inability to see the true nature of Uncle Julius's stories reflects the limitations of white society's understanding of the black man's life, as rooted in the slave experience. His restricted sympathy and misunderstanding f Julius's display a larger theme of the white world's inability to understand the race problem. Julius's continuous attempt to engage his employer in an understanding of the black culture reflects Chesnutt's attempt to do the same in his novels.