Study Guide

Light in August Chapter 5

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Chapter 5

  • At an indeterminate time in the past it's after midnight, and Christmas can't sleep.
  • Brown stumbles into the cabin, drunk and laughing loudly. Christmas tells him to shut up but Brown continues to make drunken noises and eventually he falls to the floor.
  • Christmas attacks Brown, beating him until he stops laughing.
  • Brown eventually falls asleep.
  • Christmas smokes a cigarette and then leaves the cabin. He walks toward Miss Burden's house and stands outside the window, cursing her.
  • Christmas takes his clothes off and walks, naked, toward the main road. A car carrying a white couple zooms past him and he yells, "White bastards!" at the car.
  • Christmas dresses again and then goes back to the cabin, where he still can't go to sleep. He ends up sleeping in the stables.
  • Upon waking up he takes a walk through town. He goes to the white part of town and through the black part of town, feeling increasingly anxious. He walks through the woods as well.
  • When he emerges from the woods he encounters a group of black people; when they leave, he realizes that he has been carrying a razor in his hand this whole time, seeming to threaten them.
  • He walks back to Joanna Burden's house and sits in the yard, in the dark. When the clock strikes midnight he walks into the house thinking, Something is going to happen to me.

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