The Sheriff's Children Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 46 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Sheriff's Children.
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Race and Racism

The themes of race and racism are integral to "The Sheriff's Children."The story takes place in the postbellum South, when African Americans, although free, were hardly considered equal to whites. The mulatto Tom is brought in as a suspect for the murder of a white man on circumstantial evidence; ironically, only after his capture does it emerge that there actually is evidence linking him to the dead man—a coat that he stole. Tom claims not to have killed the man, but he also recognizes that the society in which he lives will condemn him unfairly. The white men who make up the lynching mob also recognize this truth, as does the sheriff; they all acknowledge that there is no actual need to lynch Tom at the present time, for almost certainly he will be sentenced to hang for the murder.

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This section contains 956 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Sheriff's Children Study Guide
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The Sheriff's Children from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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