Summary: Light in August – Chapter Nine

Joe’s harsh assault against McEachern represents all the antagonism that he has felt for years. It also represents his youthful desire to protect the woman with whom he has been sleeping, especially when she has just been attacked by McEachern.

The most import event in this chapter is Bobbie’s abrupt disloyalty of Joe. She was the first woman to whom Joe freely opened his heart. Joe’s youthful love for Bobbie existed on an unrealistic plane because he was able to confess his Negro blood to her and be accepted by her as an individual. However, her betrayal of his love, which is accompanied by the jeering of “nigger bastard,” implants the idea in his mind that owing to his blood he must remain the secluded person. Thus the episode with the dietitian and the interlude with Bobbie Allen convince Joe that he will never be able to have a trusting relationship with a woman.

The chapter wraps-up all the narration involving Joe’s early life. The two main types of influence are extreme rigidity and religious mania as seen in Hines and McEachern as opposed to the loose morality of the dietitian and Bobbie Allen. Joe’s conflict is presented in the contrasting manner in which he violently attacks (and perhaps kills) McEachern, and is, in turn, violently beaten up as a result of Bobbie Allen’s betrayal. The complexity is only going to continue.

Author: Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a full-time writer. He was born in San Antonio, Texas, to a career military father and stay at home mother. He lived in six states and attended eight different schools before graduating high school. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in English and Military Science from The University of Texas at Arlington, Master of Arts and Master of Religious Education degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as the Doctor of Education degree. Before writing full-time, he worked as a US Army officer for 10-years, religious educator for 18-years, and as an IT software application engineer for over 20-years. He is a widower. He lives in North Texas with his cat Lacey.