The time period used in this book is late 1950s. The main concept discussed is in this book is how life teaches you different lessons. His digression from the right paths has led him to the point of suicide. Therefore, one must always be steadfast and use the right paths for fame so that he may not live to regret in the later path of his life like Rufus. Rufus was in love with a woman called Leona, who was a white woman. Rufus used to beat Leona and always used to ask her "Do you love me" This shows the inner insecurity that Rufus felt about his relationship. This relationship wasn't successful as Leona goes insane in the end and Rufus was at a point of committing suicide. This shows that it was increasingly difficult in America at the time for people of different races to get together and get married. And this discrimination was probably the reason why Rufus committed suicide.The racial discrimination was so common in America during that time that Baldwin correctly highlight in the words of Cass, a character from his novel:
All policemen in those days were working for white people and they treat blacks very badly. In his novel at point of (245) we were told what Cass thought about policemen and how they used to treat black people.
Another important characters discussed in the novel were Vivaldo, Ida's lover, Rufus's best friend, and an aspiring novelist; Eric, a white actor from the South and Rufus's erstwhile lover who has fled to France; Yve ...Show more