Comparisonand Contrast: Ark of Bones andJonoah and the Green Stone
Thestories, Ark of Bones andJonoah and the Green Stone,authored by the late African-American author Henry Dumas, arefictional masterpieces that show how creative Dumas was. There arevarious similarities and differences between these two stories.Although the language the author uses in writing the prose issomewhat complicated, he made his intentions known to his audience.Also, in the story Ark of Bones,there are certain similarities anddifferences between some characters and events that take place.
Beginningwith the similarities in Ark ofBones, firstly, the charactersHeadeye and Fish-hound are individuals who are focused on what theyintend to achieve. Fish-hound is focused on maintaining the secrecyof the best fishing spot. He says “But he ain’t know wherethe fishin was good” (Dumas 1). For thisreason, Fish-hound strives to maintain this secret he had gatheredafter his long stint in fishing. On the other hand, Headeye isfocused on attaining whatever he wants to achieve. Headeye possess amojo bone, which according to him, is a source of confidence andsuccess. Headeye intensely believes the supernatural power of themojo can direct him almost anywhere. This is the reason Fish-hounddoes not want Headeye to follow him. Dumas indicates “Iain’t want nobody with a mojo bone followin me”(Dumas 1)
Secondly,Fish-hound’s speech is similar to Headeye’s spoken language. Bothspeeches are esoteric and could be difficult to understand,especially for novice readers. For instance, Fish-hound says “Youcome this far a head me, you must be got a call from the spirit”(Dumas 2). Also, Headeye says “Withthe eyes of your brother Fish-hound, so be it?”(Dumas 7). Such a cryptic form of speech makes their dialoguedifficult to understand, especially at the initial stages of thestory.
Concerningdifferences, Headeye is a religious fanatic, but Fish-hound is atypical young man who does not delve deep into religion. Headeyes’mention that the Biblical Noah’s Ark will come again while theyfish is trite and irrelevant to Fish-hound in as far as their fishingexpedition is concerned. Headeye mentions “TheArk is comin.”(Dumas 3). Fish-hound replies “WhatArk?”
InArk of Bones andJonoah and the green stonesimilarities and differences also exist. Starting with thesimilarities, both stories have a fable-like plot that may seem a bitaimless at their beginnings. In Arkof Bones, Fish-hound gives hisfirst-person experiences when he goes fishing but notices that hisfriend Headeye is following him. He says “Headeye, he wasfollowin me. I knowed he was followin me. But I just kept goin”(Dumas 1). On the other hand, Jonoah andthe Green Stone has a plot thatgives an indirect account of the problems that African-Americansfaced in the era of racism in America. The story gives this accountthrough a character called Jonoah who comes to identify his positionas a black when he joined a civil rights society. Jonoah says “Thespot was feverish before I joined civil rights” (Dumas 57).Conversely, while Ark of Bones isa fictional story, Jonoah and theGreen Stone is non-fiction.
Inconclusion, the stories Arkof Bones andJonoahand the Green Stonehave various similarities and differences. The behaviors of thecharacters, the author’s style of narration and themes in these twocreative masterpieces bring out the differences and similaritiesbetween them. Notably, Dumas’ Arkof Bones hasa cryptic form of narration. However, from this style of recitationreaders can notice the similarities and differences in the plot.These are evident through the conducts of Headeye and Fish-hound.
Dumas,Henry. Jonoah and the green stone.New York: Random House, 1976. Print.
Dumas,Henry. Ark of Bones.New York: Random House, 1974. Print.