Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
The breaking string sounds just before the homeless man enters in Act 2, and just after Fiers lies down at the end of the play. Different productions have handled it different ways. It could be the melancholy, nostalgic sound of a breaking guitar string. It could symbolize the discontinuation of memory. Overtly political productions have featured the sound of a snapping whip, a reminder of the family's dependence on slavery.