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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 123

Sounder reflects Armstrong's personal history, his knowledge of southern rural life, and his admiration for strong individuals. Concentrating on an innocent child's perspective, the story provides graphic descriptions of the cruelties inflicted upon a black sharecropper family trapped by poverty and lack of education. Sounder is the tragic and moving story of an unnamed boy who is devoted to his family and their faithful hound, Sounder. His father, jailed for stealing food to feed the starving family, is put on a chain gang that is constantly moved around the state, and the boy sets out on a quest to find him. The story also involves the boy's loving relationship with Sounder, who is named for his resonant howl that reverberates across the countryside.

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