Chapter 15 Summary

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Last Updated January 4, 2023.

Awaking one final morning at Mary’s to the sound of pipes clanging, the narrator noticed something startling in the room: a small figural metal bank, in the early Americana style depicting Black Americans as racist caricatures. Surprised that he hadn’t noticed it before, and annoyed by the sound coming through the pipes, he angrily banged the pipe with the bank. The bank broke, and he realized he had just broken something that belonged to Mary. Worried that he might upset her further on the same day he planned to tell her he was leaving, he hid the pieces and decided to try to make it up to her some other way.

In the kitchen, the narrator sat down for coffee with Mary and gave her a hundred dollars. He collected his things to leave, intent on finding somewhere to throw the bank away, and found a piece of paper in his jacket pocket. Reading his new government name off the slip, he tried to internalize it before heading out into the street.

The narrator attempted to dispose of the pieces of the bank in a trash can but was stopped by an angry woman who told him to keep his trash out of her bins. He then attempted to leave it in the street, but a man saw him drop it and ran up to tell him he’d lost something. Suspicious that he didn’t want it back, the man began to speculate that it must be something illegal he was trying to hand off. Frustrated, the narrator put the bank back in his briefcase.

When he arrived on Forty-Second Street, a woman from the Brotherhood showed the narrator his luxurious new apartment.

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