Ostrom compares this story to Faulkner's writing, calling it Hughes's "fullest expression within the collection" of "socioeconomic and sexual dimensions of American racial conflict" (16). What of Faulkner's short fiction might do the same? Do you think this story is a kind of climax to the collection?
Are you, as a reader, comfortable with the third-person, omniscient point of view used in the narration of the story?
Reread the crucial passage of Norwood's death on page 242. Ostrom questions whether Bert actually killed his father, saying that Norwood "dies when confronted with the choice of killing Bert or acknowledging him as his son," and that Bert is "[a]ccused of killing the Colonel" (16). Do you agree?
Ostrom, Hans. Langston Hughes: A Study of the Short Fiction. Boston: Twayne, 1993.