What do John and Roy do every Saturday morning in "The Rockpile"?

Quick answer:

John and Roy watch the street below from the fire escape of their apartment every Saturday morning because their mother has forbidden them to play in the street. They think about their own wickedness, and they also think about their father, who they wait for as he comes home from work.

Expert Answers

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In the short story "The Rockpile," John and Roy sit on the fire escape every Saturday morning, from where they "watch the forbidden street below." Their mother has forbidden them to play in the street because there is a rockpile there which other boys from the neighborhood play upon. The play of the other boys is described as "dangerous, and reckless," and John and Roy's mother says that "it's a wonder they don't kill themselves."

When they are sat on the fire escape, John and Roy watch the passing of people ("the saint, man or woman") from the neighborhood, and they think about "the wickedness of the street." Thinking about the wickedness of the street also makes them think about "their own latent wickedness." Perhaps they think it is wicked of them to enjoy watching the wickedness of others.

John and Roy also say that thinking of wickedness also made them "think of their father," which might imply either that their father is a wicked person, or that their father is worried about them being wicked. While they sit on the fire escape each Saturday morning, they wait for their father to come home.

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