There is a postmodern tone. Postmodernism is a literary period that is generally considered to have begun after World War II. Postmodernist literature carries modernism's experiments with traditional literary forms and content to an extreme. Literary works in this period subvert conventional ideas of thought and experience in an effort to illustrate the meaninglessness of existence. "Stones in My Passway, Hellhound on My Trail" fits into this literary mode in its refusal to force the main character to a moment of self-knowledge and thus to perhaps save himself. The sum total of Robert's experiences provides no meaning for him. In this sense, Robert becomes an antihero, the typical protagonist of postmodernist fiction.