In the story, "A Long Day in November," sugar cane symbolizes the struggle for survival. The men that work in the cane fields work long hard hours to barely make a living. How hard they work and how much cane they harvest is a status for the people in the community. Sonny's daddy, Eddie, has been at the job a long time and is known as a person who "works hard and long cutting cane on a sugar plantation. "
Working the cane is one of the"rituals that protect a person and a family from despair and disintegration." Without the cane many families would have no way to support their families.