What is the author's purpose in including the story about the fourth child in "Roselily"?

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Roselily's fourth child has a different father, evidently, from her other three children. He was from New England and had come to Mississippi "to try to right the country's wrongs." However, all he evidently succeeded in doing was sleeping with Roselily and falling apart himself when she became pregnant with his child—even trying to kill himself.

Roselily knows that he was "a good man but weak," though he did take the boy with him and passed the baby off to...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 5, 2019