This story is not too entertaining but it is a good story and it has a good lesson. I had never read this particular story before nor had I ever heard of it but I’m glad that I did have to read it because I kind of liked it. I don’t think the mother in the story treated her children fairly though; the two younger children had to do all the work when the oldest child got to laze about doing whatever he pleased. I think all children should be treated as equals when it comes to chores and housework; with the exception of smaller children. I know my sister and I always had pretty equal chore lists even though we are five years apart. Another thing that I didn’t agree with is the fate of the oldest boy. Could he not have just stayed and explained what happened so he didn’t absolutely have to die? I mean I’m sure he would have been hanged for murder anyways but at least his family would have known what happened to him. The mother should have known not to trust her oldest son to go to town all alone and not mess something up because he is a lazy, arrogant, young man. She should have sent her younger son with him; maybe if she had he would not have accidentally killed that man and would therefore not be in trouble and he would be alive at the end of the story. On top of that, the mother should have sent her son away with more than just beef jerky and a handful of bullets; a person on the run needs more food than that and definitely needs more than ten little bullets. The last thing that really irked me was the fact that they had to shoot the horse just to kill the boy; if you have a good enough aim to kill the horse then you can just kill the boy and let the horse live. I have always hated westerns and historic battle scenes in movies for that exact reason; they kill the poor horses when they don’t have too.
I did not care for this piece one bit; I found it offensive and I was unable to get past the first page. So I did not bother to read the rest. I am sorry.
I really liked this story, though I feel like Mary and Jan were actually making fun of Bigger even though they were treating him as an equal. I think it is a shame that African Americans once had to feel as if we were out to get them if we were trying to be decent human beings. However, I do think that the biggest race issues that remain today are there because of the African American pop culture; they reinforce the stereotypes and racial profiles themselves. First of all, I wonder where the name Bigger came from; is he a large kid or even a small kid or something? It’s an odd name for a person even if it is a made up character. Secondly, Jan should never be a man’s name; it is definitely a female name only. I think I may have to read the rest of the novel to find out, but I wonder if Jan is blamed for Mary’s disappearance or if Bigger is ever discovered? I think Bigger should have left Mary’s body lying in bed and made it seem like she died of alcohol poisoning or something; unless they could forensically discover her cause of death, then burning it was the best idea. Though I don’t see how anyone could not have smelt the burning flesh. I also wonder if Mary’s parents were ever told what their daughter was up to at night; I mean they could be black listed for having association with their daughter and her communist friends. It is too bad that Mary had to die though; I think it would have been interesting if she had lived and ran off with Bigger instead of Jan, I wonder what her parents would have done or said. That could have been pretty interesting.