The main struggle of the protagonist is his conflict between who he is and what he wants. The two factors are mutually exclusive. His response to the white prostitute's words, that she accepts black men, proves that he hates the existing social order which allows for such a high level of hypocrisy. He beats her because she is a symbol of the system which humiliates ordinary people and turns them into offenders. Christmas wants to be treated like a white man, but his uncertain origin makes him socially maladjusted. He is trying to find his way through racial division of the American South to assimilate with one of the existing communities. However, his attempt to be a part of a black society is doomed to failure, because his socialization took place with white Southerners. For this reason, he despises black Americans, and thereby, despises himself. His aggression against black people: beating a black prostitutes in the barn, or aggressive behaviour in the black church, is directed against that part of society that prevent him from feeling like a full-fledged member of the society which is all he wants: "There were people on these porches too, and in chairs upon the lawns; but he could walk quiet here. Now and then he could see them: heads in silhouette, a white blurred garmerited shape; on a lighted veranda four people sat about a card table, the white faces intent and sharp in the low light, the bare arms of the women glaring smooth and white above the trivial cards. ‘That’s all I wanted,’ he thought. ‘That don’t seem like a whole lot to ask.’"54
Christmas’ actions, regardless of Gavin Stevens' monologue about blood, is the behaviour of a white Southerner, who on no account would take the role of a victim, because it may lead to his exclusion (as it happens to Hightower). The main character can not accept his socially determined race, because it would contradict the meaning of his personal fight for being a full member of society. Therefore he choses death which in that community is the only way to avoid a social stigma.
Copyright © 2008-2010 EPrace oraz autorzy prac.