Summary and Analysis: "That Evening Sun" Section VI


As the Compson family leaves the resigned but terrified Nancy, they look back through the shack's open door and see her sitting before the fire. Then, as they cross the ditch, they can't see her anymore, yet her door is still open and the fire is still burning. Quentin recalls Nancy's phrase, "I just done got tired. . . . I just a nigger. It ain't no fault of mine." She has accepted the position assigned to her by both white and black society and sits waiting for her death.

Caddy, who still has no clue about Nancy's imminent death, asks her father, "What's going to happen?" It is Quentin who makes the most telling statement: He wonders aloud, "Who will do our washing now, Father?" Blandly accepting Nancy's premise that she will be killed that night, his main concern is not with her death, but with who will do the family's washing.

The magnificent closing features Caddy and Jason bickering, with Caddy teasing Jason about how scared of the dark he would be if the others weren't with him. The story ends not with the bang of Nancy's death, which is symbolized by "the sound that was not singing and not unsinging," but with the whimper of two small children and the futile shout of their ineffective father.