I’m blogging my thoughts, reflections, and a simple chapter summary as I reread the book chapter by chapter. Chapter three gives the background to Hightower’s life. We hear these things not from Hightower but from the town’s people.
We learn that Hightower has negative preconceived opinions based on some event associated with his grandfather’s being shot while riding a horse. This event makes him want to stay in Jefferson in spite of the anger aroused by some perceived offense that he suffers. Additionally, Hightower seems in some way partly to blame for his wife’s death.
Hightower’s view is he wants left alone. He just wants the town to let him live in peace and quiet. This is one way of rebuffing life, or not wanting to become a participant in life.
This chapter also sets us up for Hightower’s attempt to run away from life by living for some event in the past. The past has a strong hold upon him. We learn that he used any method available to secure a place in Jefferson. He has undergone the incredible torment so that he can stay in Jefferson.