American Literature, Section 3
10 January 2014
Man in a Corner
Augustus Cain is a good person, despite his background and upbringing he was able to emerge through the narrative. Cain is a man in the corner; his conditions determine his values and morals. He lost himself to himself and his own society. Although, he has lost himself he evolves and turns into a "soul catcher" throughout this novel many times, one of the souls he's caught was even his own. He evolved as a person through breaking the four guiding principles constantly that his father said for him to follow. The four guiding principles were that "one should always respect one's property: that it was necessary to care for protect it, to never misuse it, as it will someday be called upon to care for and protect you" (White 31); "That a Negro was in many ways like a child and it was the moral duty of the white man to look after and guide them" (White 31); " That his very whiteness not only set him apart from and above them - morally, intellectually, physically - but that it also linked him in a blood bond with every other white man" (White 32); " Whites and Negroes were created by the Almighty to be separate" (White 32).
Cain engages in a forbidden relationship with a black woman named Rosetta. This relationship tests Cain's character, will, care and decisions. She tests Cain's will during her bathing in the river. While Rosetta is bathing, Cain is half turned away; "he felt this to be some sort of test of will, a temptation he felt bound to renounce in order to prove to himself, that he wasn't common, that he wasn't like Preacher or Strofes. That he was different" (White 206).