Last Updated on August 5, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 657
As long as I draw a breath in my body I’m gonna do the right thing for me. What I got to be sorry for? People say, “Ain’t you sorry you killed Pernell?” I ain’t sorry I killed Pernell. The nigger deserve to die. He cut my face.
[...]How can I be wrong for killing him?” That’s common sense. I don’t care what the law say. The law don’t understand this. It must not. They wanna take and lock me up. Where’s the understanding? If a burglar break in a white man’s house to steal his TV and the white man shoot him they don’t say he wrong. The law understand that[...].
In the above quotes, King Hedley questions the injustice of society's double standards. King is definitely not sorry for killing Pernell. To King, Pernell deserved to die because of the grave injuries he inflicted on him (King).
King also questions society's views about justice. He laments the disparities in the court system. For example, certain types of violence are classified as either self-defense or murder, depending on the race of the aggressor. King thinks that this is unfair. He maintains that he tried to show the all-white jury his scars, but to no avail. Instead, fearing that King had murderous intentions against the jury, the court ordered 6 deputies to restrain King.
Because of the stereotypical views about black men, King's desperate attempts at exonerating himself were misunderstood. He was angry that his rationale for Pernell's murder was discounted and rejected by the jury. In turn, his anger was interpreted as a prelude to violence on his part. In the end, King was sent to solitary confinement. So, the play highlights the challenges that occur when one's conception of justice conflicts with that of society or the courts.
That’s why I need this baby, not ’cause I took something out the world but because I wanna put something in it. Let everybody know I was here. You got King Hedley II and then you got King Hedley III. Got rocky dirt. Got glass and bottles. But it still deserve to live. Even if you do have to call the undertaker. Even if somebody come along and pull it out by the root. It still deserve to live. It still deserve that chance. I’m here and I ain’t going nowhere. I need to have that baby. Do you understand?
The above quote highlights King's quest for meaning. Even though he...
(The entire section contains 657 words.)
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