Have you ever read a story, and were so intrigued that you wish you were the main character so that you could change the way they reacted to certain things? I have, and when I read "Footfalls" I found myself doing that very thing. "Footfalls" was written by Wilbur Daniel Steele, an amazing author who really knows how to capture the reader's attention and involve them in the story. In the story, a man named Boaz Negro is against Campbell Wood because Wood killed Boaz's last living son. In this paper, I will identify the major problem in "Footfalls", explore some possible solutions to that problem, evaluate those solutions, and find the best solution.
Before I explore some possible solutions, you need to understand the story "Footfalls". Here is a summary of the story to help explain the major problem. Campbell Wood made fun of Manuel, Boaz Negro' son, and Boaz took offence.
As Wood was leaving, he stole a sack of coins from Boaz's shop, and Boaz knew. Boaz felt uncomfortable when Wood was around, and at night, he'd listen closer than before. That same night, Boaz heard footsteps on the upper floor, as well as the lower floor, and he sensed something was wrong. Then he heard Wood ask from the upper level why they weren't sleeping, and Manuel replied it was because he wasn't tired. Wood asked Manuel if he wanted to play euchre and Manuel accepted the invitation. When Manuel went upstairs, someone shut the door, and this made Boaz very uncomfortable. Shortly after that, Boaz heard footsteps coming around the corner of the house, but he felt that he couldn't move. He heard someone yell from the street, "Fire!" and slowly began to realize that the fire was coming from his own house. Slowly, Boaz began to put the pieces together, and was just now figuring out what was going on. In the morning, a body was found lying Campbell Wood's burned bed, and was identified as Wood, but Boaz knew it was Manuel's body. When Boaz was being questioned, he never told the detectives that he knew it was Manuel's body. All he said was he was going to wait for the cachorra (Campbell Wood) to return. After 9 years of waiting silently, Wood returned and Boaz got the revenge he wanted: he killed him. Boaz never received any punishment for the murder and slowly, his unquenchable exuberance returned.
Now that you know the basic parts of "Footfalls", you should know the conflict of the story: Boaz Negro is against Campbell Wood because Wood killed Boaz's last living son. Boaz was angry with Wood for killing his son, and wanted revenge. One possible solution for Boaz to get the revenge he wants is this: In the summary, when Boaz heard footsteps coming from the house, shortly after Manuel went upstairs, he felt he couldn't move. But, if Boaz would have went after the person he heard, maybe he could have caught him. This way, Wood would have went to jail, and there would have been no confusion as to whose body was found in Wood's bed. Also, Boaz would not have had to wait nine years wondering if Wood would ever return. On the other hand, since Boaz is blind, odds are that he wouldn't catch him. It would also be easy for Wood to be quiet enough so that Boaz wouldn't know where he was at.
Another possible solution for Boaz's revenge is for him to wait until Wood returns, and when he does, shoot him. This way, Boaz would definitely get the revenge he wanted, and he wouldn't have to run anywhere or deal with the police about anything. The problem is, Wood may never return. And if he ever did, it would be kind of hard for a blind man to shoot somebody.
One last possible solution for Boaz's revenge is when Boaz was being questioned by the cops, he never told them everything he knew. He knew it was Manuel's body, and he knew it was Wood who murdered him. If Boaz would have told the cops everything he knew, the cops could begin a search for Wood. Even if they didn't catch at least Boaz made an attempt to. But, there are some problems with this solution. Since Boaz is blind, and couldn't possibly see that it was Wood who killed Manuel, the detectives may not believe him. And even if they did believe him, the people of the town might think Boaz is crazy for thinking it's Manuel's body in Wood's bed.