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Chapter 6 Summary and Analysis

Guitar tries to make Milkman take responsibility for Hagar’s anguished state of being after Milkman has severed their relationship. Milkman objects to Guitar’s constant criticism of him and Guitar’s new conservative ways. Guitar no longer wants to party or have fun. Guitar finally reveals the reason behind his behavior. He tells Milkman about his membership in the Seven Days society, formed in 1920. The organization has its own code of justice because the white laws and courts don’t protect the black community. In the event that an innocent black is victimized, and the criminal is not brought to justice, the Days seek retribution. An innocent white will be killed on the same day of the week as the black person. Each of the seven members has been assigned a day of the week, and the randomly selected victim must be killed in a similar way to the method of death experienced by the black. Guitar’s assigned day is Sunday. When Milkman objects to the Days’ killing of people, citing its lack of morality, Guitar tells him, “We’re not killing people,” we’re “killing white people.” Guitar does not see the killings as an act against humanity. He sees it as an abstraction, a mathematical equation in order “to keep the ratio (of whites to blacks) the same.” “There’s too much wrong with it,” Milkman says, and compares Guitar to Malcolm X.

Milkman is unable to accept responsibility for his mistreatment of Hagar. Ever since he was initiated into sex, he has used women to sexually gratify himself and has never thought of them as anything but sex objects.

In Guitar’s racist view, he categorically identifies all whites as unnatural, as “an evil force.” While Milkman lacks a social consciousness, he can still recognize that what Guitar is doing is abominable and morally wrong. When Guitar says “There are no innocent white people,” that every one of them “is a potential nigger-killer,” he is making a judgment...

(The entire section is 518 words.)