What is the mood in chapter 3 of Sounder?

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William H. Armstrong's classic young-adult novel Sounder provides a great deal of insight into the difficult lives of black sharecroppers in the South. His protagonist is a boy who lives with his sharecropper parents, younger siblings, and his dog, Sounder, in a very modest cabin. Although the family works...

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William H. Armstrong's classic young-adult novel Sounder provides a great deal of insight into the difficult lives of black sharecroppers in the South. His protagonist is a boy who lives with his sharecropper parents, younger siblings, and his dog, Sounder, in a very modest cabin. Although the family works hard, sometimes there is not enough food.

Chapter 3 picks up the day after the father is taken away by the sheriff and his men for stealing meat from a smokehouse in order to feed his family. Sounder gets away and follows the group. He is shot and the boy and his mother assume that he has crawled under the porch to die. These events happen in Chaper 2, but they set the tone for Chapter 3.

The mood in Chapter 3 is somber and quiet but also full of uncertainty. What will become of the family with the father gone? It is a cold, gray day, and the mother dresses warmly and leaves to sell walnuts in town. She takes with her an unexplained meal sack with leftovers in it. The boy worries that she may be treated cruelly in town. The boy crawls under the porch so he can find and bury Sounder's body, but it is not there. With this discovery comes a little flame of hope that Sounder may be alive.

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