In August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean, who is responsible for Garret Brown's death?

One could argue that it is Caesar Wilkes who is ultimately responsible for the death of Garrett Brown. Although Brown kills himself by drowning, he wouldn't have done so had Wilkes the police officer not pursued him for a crime he didn't commit. At the same time, Citizen takes responsibility for Brown's death, as he was the one who committed the crime for which Brown was falsely accused.

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Selig and Solly Two Kings bring Eli and Black Mary the bad news that the town is in an uproar over the death of Garrett Brown. Brown was a young mill-worker accused of the minor crime of stealing a bucket of nails. Brown was insistent that he was completely innocent, and rather than surrender to Black Mary's police officer brother, Caesar Wilkes drowned himself in the river.

In that sense, one could reasonably argue that Wilkes is responsible for Brown's death. Had he not pursued the young man with such vigor over what was, after all, a very trivial crime, then Brown would almost certainly still be alive. At the same time, one could also say that Wilkes, as a police officer, was just doing what any law enforcement official in his position would've done. But then again, this is a man who once killed a man for stealing a loaf of bread.

Then again, Citizen takes responsibility for Brown's death as he was the one who stole the bucket of nails. It is just after Citizen's open acknowledgment of guilt that he is admitted into the City of Bones, an underwater city beneath the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, by the gatekeeper, Garrett Brown himself.

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