The Colonel's Dream
'The Colonel's Dream ' Summary
The novel begins with Colonel Henry French and his partners selling their company, making the colonel financially independent. He decides to head back south with his son, Phil. He intends to stay for only a couple of months, but once he arrives, he remembers with nostalgia the landscape, the building structures, and his youth in his hometown. He runs into his old slave, Peter French, who is finding it difficult to make a living due to his skin color and age under the post-war conditions.
During his stay, the Colonel sees continuing economic isolation and repression of the black population and is bothered by the racism that is still very prominent in Clarendon. The editor of the local newspaper talked to him about Clarendon having "so many idle, ignorant Negroes that something must be done to make them work, or else they'll steal, and to keep them in their place, or they would run over us".
It became evident to the Colonel that there was a racial problem in Clarendon. When the Colonel visits a black school, he hears from a black school teacher, Mr. Henry Taylor, how unfairly the school system treats blacks by segregation and difference in condition of the schools. Behind most of this wrongdoing is William Fetters, a convict labor contractor in Clarendon who influences most affairs in the town. The Colonel takes on the injustice of Fetters and tries to change Clarendon into a more socially equal town.
The book is a blend of humor and serious contemplation, as it delves into the political and social issues that were affecting the two countries at the...
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