Let the Circle be Unbroken

Let the Circle be Unbroken Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

"Let the Circle be Unbroken" (Symbol)

The song sang at Christmas–"Let the Circle be Unbroken"–symbolizes the nurturing, sustaining community and family that the Logans occupy. The unbroken circle is the ideal because inside of it is safety, love, and support.

Music and song (Motif)

Music and song are threaded throughout the text. They are present at family gatherings, at church, and in Wordell's sickbed-playing for Cassie. Music and song bring hope, comfort, and allow the expression of sorrow. They bring people together in shared emotion and experience.

Land (Symbol)

Land is a symbol of autonomy and power. Whites own land and therefore have most, if not all, of the power. Some blacks own land (such as the Logans) and thus possess more power than they otherwise would. Many blacks have no land (such as the Turners and the Ellises) and thus have little power and much to lose.

Cars (Symbol)

Cars are symbols of masculinity, wealth, pride, and power. Mr. Granger's Packard is conspicuous and often mentioned. Hammer once owning a Packard was notable, and although his new car is not as impressive it is still an indication of his status.

The Marble (Symbol)

The marble symbolizes greed, immorality, covetousness, and luxury. Cassie's quest to possess it shows her indulging her worst qualities. If she were to keep the marble, she would continue to indulge these feelings and perhaps end up like Jake Willis.