Summary and Analysis: "That Evening Sun" Section V


Mr. Compson, who has come to take the children back home, refuses to believe that Jesus is outside, but Nancy explains that he has left a sign — "a hogbone, with blood meat on it" — to warn her that he will kill her. She tells Mr. Compson, "When yawl walk out that door, I gone." Continuing the adult-child theme of understanding the world, Caddy takes this statement literally and wants to know, "Gone where, Nancy?" Jason's response to the situation is characteristic of what we have come to expect of him: He is concerned only that he not be branded a tattletale.

Nancy, knowing that it will do no good to try to escape her fate, rejects Mr. Compson's offer to take her to Aunt Rachel's. She accepts that, because she had sex with white men, she will get what is her due: "I reckon it belong to me. I reckon what I going to get ain't no more than mine." By her own standards — she threatened to kill Jesus for cheating on her — Jesus has the right to kill her, but the horror and the fear are still overwhelmingly intense.

Mr. Compson wants Nancy to bar the door and turn off the light, but she is frightened of being killed in the dark. Ironically, like little Jason, she, too, is afraid of the dark: "I scared for it to happen in the dark." She reminds them that as soon as they leave, "I gone," but she is somewhat resigned to her death, taking consolation in the fact that her coffin is already paid for.