Who brought forth the end of the story?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is a great question.  I think that one of Gaines' primary motivations in detailing the end of the story in the way he did was to show how social activism and seeking to create change is not in the hands of one person, but rather in the hands of many.  For example, Jimmy goes off to college and becomes inspired through the model of people such as Dr. King and Rosa Parks.  He then comes back to Samson to try to initiate change there.  When he is killed, Jane picks up where he leaves off and continues the fight.  In this, the end of the story is not in the hands of one person to bring forth.  Rather, the demands of social change and the desire to make what is into what should be is in the hands of multiple people.  This becomes the essence of the narrative in that social change is not up to one person.  Dr. King and Rosa Parks influence Jimmy, who tries to influence the rural community of Samson.  Jane is influenced by Jimmy and takes up the cause even after he is gone.  In this, the reader can walk away influenced by Jane and the story continues.  In this light, there is not one person who brings forth the end of the story and one person does not end it.  The fight goes on, the cause endures, and the dream shall never die so long as many recognize its need.

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