The Evening Sun
The evening sun is the story of how life used to be in the southern state at the turn of the century. It is about the life of a black woman who is very attractive to both the black and the white race of Jefferson, Mississippi. It tells a story of how the attraction of a poor black woman becomes her downfall and how instead of empathizing with her situation everyone including her husband and her white employer blamed her for it. This evident in how her employer admonished her when taking her home “Well, he’s gone now,” a father said. “There’s nothing for you to be afraid of now. And if you’d just let white men alone.” And her constant reminder to everyone that “I ain’t nothing but a nigger,” Nancy said. “God knows. God knows.”
Nancy is first introduced to us as a reminiscence of the past through the eyes a Quentin a child of the house where Nancy worked part time when their regular cook Disley is taken ill. The child narrates of how Nancy used to graceful a site to behold with her un-bobbing luggage of dirty clothes when she is going down a ditch and of her mastery even when she goes down on her knees to pass by a gap her head still stood rigidly.
Then the story goes on to introduce what the husbands of the washerwomen used to do to their wives but not Jesus Nancy’s husband. Most husbands would come and collect or deliver the clothes for their women but not Jesus. He is only mentioned when problems started between him and Nancy. Although the children don’t understand what they are talking about Jesus is heard complaining to Nancy of how he is not allowed to visit the houses of the white men while the white men come to his kitchen as much as they want and even have the audacity to plant a fruit in his belly and he is vowing to cut the vine that did that. I think he is letting Nancy know what he intends to do in the future concerning the child Nancy is carrying. This excerpt shows Nancy already growing fear when she tells him “What makes you want to talk like that before these chilled?” Nancy said. “Whyn’t you go on to work? You have done it. You want Mr. Jason to catch you hanging around his kitchen, talking that way before these chilled?” with this Nancy has already started to show her fears of her husband since as she tells Disley “I know,” Nancy said. “He’s there, waiting. I know. I done lived with him too long. I know what he is fixing to do for he knows it himself.”
The wife of her white employer becomes jealousy when her husband tries to fulfill is the duty by escorting his employee in the evening. The escort by the employer shows that there still were some humanity in the heart of the white people and some of them would go to some length to protect their employees although at the end he leaves her alone and takes his children away because I guess he thinks that an employee is not enough to destroy his family. He is caught between his duty to his wife and his duty as an employer and as usual with everyone family comes first. This seems to be the last straw that breaks the camels back since as soon as they are gone Nancy loses her will to live and leaves her door open to let fate take its course and if it is the night when Jesus will strike then she was not going to run anymore. The story brings to light the life of the black after slavery and the moral dilemma that went with both races since you can not blame Jesus for wanting to soothe his honor and you can’t blame Nancy since circumstance forced her to do what she did. The white employer had to protect his family too and he is not expected to lose that in order to protect an employee.