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Chapter 2 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What meaning did the Sunday afternoon rides have for Macon and Ruth?

2. Which direction does Milkman ultimately face in the car What does he see when he faces forward?

3. Why is the car called Macon Dead’s hearse?

4. How does Guitar describe Pilate’s house?

5. Does Milkman feel differently about his last name (Dead) after he visits Pilate? How?

6. What does Pilate say about the color black and the color green?

7. What does Pilate know about her mother’s bonnet? What doesn’t she know about her mother?

8. Why does Pilate say a brother and a cousin are the “same thing,” even if they don’t have the same mother?

9. What does Pilate think of being scared of something that isn’t real?

10. Why doesn’t Macon want Milkman to visit Pilate?

1. For Macon, the Sunday afternoon drives were a way to show off his wealth and look for new real estate markets. For Ruth, the drives were a way to display her family.

2. Milkman faces backward in the car. When he faces forward, he can only see “the laps, feet, and hands of his parents, the dashboard, or the silver winged woman poised at the tip of the Packard.”

3. The car is called Macon Dead’s hearse because with the exception of Lena and Corinthians, the car has “no real lived life at all.”

4. Guitar describes Pilate’s house as “Shiny and brown. With a smell.”

5. Milkman always disliked his name, but with Pilate he acts as if “having the name was a matter of deep personal pride.”

6. Pilate says there are five or six kinds of black and green, like the colors of bottles, a grasshopper, a cucumber, lettuce, or “green like the sky is just before it breaks loose to storm.”

7. She knows her mother’s bonnet is blue like the sky, but she doesn’t know her mother’s name.

8. Pilate says they are the same because you have to treat them both the same.

9. Pilate believes that believing something is real is enough to make it real. Belief is reality.

10. Macon doesn’t want Milkman to visit Pilate because Pilate “can’t teach (Milkman) a thing (he) can use in this world.”