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Pilate is the moral guide for the other characters. She is a nice, sweet person and is never mean or cruel, as her biblical name suggests she should be. Pilate sings spirituals because she is trying to connect to her roots. Pilate is a survivor. She is different, and feels alienated from others, but the song helps her feel connected to her people in a bigger, general, ancestral sense. She sings about Sugarman’s flight. In Pilate’s version, her ancestors are free. Pilate is creating a past that never was, in order to survive the present. In doing so, she also connects herself to the other characters in the book.
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