Why does Maniac leave town by walking down the center of Hector Street? Hector Street is the that separates the blacks and the whites.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Hector Street is the invisible line that separates the East side from the West side. Maniac, although he is white, has lived on both sides of Hector Street, and had good and bad experiences on both sides. Most of all, though, the worst thing he's found is that the two sides are separate. Maniac is the only one in town who ever crosses that invisible line and can exist on both sides of it. He lives without prejudice -- he sees people for who they are, and not the color of their skin. Maniac walking down the center of the street is symbolic of his straddling the line. Maniac is an outsider in many ways -- he doesn't fit into a mold. He can cross boundaries, he can walk the center of that line. The other people in town could do the same, only they don't believe that they could, so they never do it. Maniac doesn't prescribe to these beliefs and ideas, and he disregards them and goes about his business. He doesn't have a home, but he is welcomed on both sides of town. Maniac, although he is a child, is the only one who is truly wise in this story. He can see beyond discrimination and see people for who they really are. 

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team