Chapter 1 Summary

Hazel Motes is sitting on a train, heading to Taulkinham. He is twenty-two years old and dressed like an elderly country preacher, including a new suit with the tag still stapled to his sleeve. Across from him sits Mrs. Wally Bee Hitchcock, a fat woman who tries to chat with the uncommunicative Motes. He has an army duffel bag at his feet, and she assumes he has been recently discharged. It is his eyes, deep-set and brown like pecans, which the woman finds so compelling. Motes avoids eye contact with her; instead, he watches intently the Negro porter down the aisle as he begins making up berths.

Motes finally approaches the man, telling him he is from Eastrod but is going into the city. The porter is terse and tells...

(The entire section is 1220 words.)