How was one character was negatively influenced by the Southern code of behaviour in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would say that Tee- Bob is an example of a character who is negatively influenced by the Southern code of conduct.  From the most fundamental point of view Tee- Bob cannot accept the social code whereby race dictates and determines all aspects of one's being.  Tee- Bob represents the collision between subjective emotions and external reality.  His love of Mary is what drives him into an emotional abyss where he is unable to "find peace."  Tee- Bob cannot accept the conditions that dictate he is unable to pursue the love of a woman like Mary.  The Southern code of conduct is to blame for this predicament. It is the Southern code of conduct in regards to race that make him fundamentally miserable.  He is negatively influenced by it, finding that he is unable to live within it.  As a result, he commits suicide.  His death is caused by a social order the sanctions his affections as unacceptable.  In this, the Southern code of conduct is indicted.  It is one one in which someone like Tee- Bob is unable to find happiness and negatively influenced as a result.


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