Answers 1Add Yours
In the image of men and women, black and white, working together to stop the fire, the author displays her most powerful suggestion yet of the possibility of racial harmony and cooperation. Race is symbolically erased by the bandanas and hats the people wear to protect themselves and their faces from the fire. This image suggests that, in a time of crisis, great divisions can be overcome.
However, it is important to remember that the reason that everyone fights the fire together proceeded not from an unselfish impulse but from Mr. Granger's desire to protect his own land. Here and throughout the book, Mr. Granger is a foil for Papa. The men have many surprising similarities, and both place an enormous importance on land and on family. While these feelings spur Papa to protect others, they lead Mr. Granger to act selfishly, hurting or ignoring others. Because of these parallels, however, Papa is able to conceive of a way to make Mr. Granger act by appealing to what he holds dear: his land rather than his sense of justice.