The Beginning of Homewood Essay

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Piedmont-Marton teaches literature and writing classes at Southwestern University in Texas. She writes frequently about the modern short story. In this essay she explores the moral ambiguity at work in "The Beginning of Homewood."

Like William Faulkner does in his novels and stories set in the fictional world of Yoknapatawpha, Wideman creates a complex landscape in "The Beginning of Homewood" that allows him to enmesh his characters in webs of moral ambiguities. The community of Homewood founded by runaway slave Sybela Owens, the narrator's great-great-great grandmother, is certainly not an unqualified safe haven. Though life in Homewood is preferable to life as a slave in Maryland, Sybela's escape from freedom, Wideman's story suggests, is compromised by her alliance with Charlie Bell, the white man and father of her children who stole her from his own father and brought her to Pittsburgh. The story's theme of moral ambiguity...

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This section contains 1,489 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Beginning of Homewood Study Guide
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The Beginning of Homewood from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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