What do you think Maniac meant when he asserted that East end and West end, Black and White would begin only when the alarm clocks rang?

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slchanmo1885 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At night, when people are asleep, there is no racism, no divide between black and white people. All people are essentially the same, and everyone sleeps and dreams about the same things. However, when people wake up, thats when mind sets and opinions wake up as well. As soon as the alarm clock rings, people wake up and begin their days set in their ways. They will stay away from people who look different from them, and not cross the line into the other side of town if they didn't have to. The idea of "East and West" and "Black and White" only exists in people's minds -- if they didn't take note of the difference, and they didn't care, then people would realize that there really isn't much of a difference at all, because all people are similar in that they care about the same things, love their families, have the same worries and fears, etc. The division of two different groups of people is something that people made up due to their own ignorance. Maniac Magee sees through all that, as an observer who is passing through and doesn't have a home of his own.