full title · Sounder
author · William Armstrong
type of work · Novel
genre · Young adult novel
language · English
time and place written · 1969, Virginia
date of first publication · 1969
publisher · HarperCollins
narrator · Anonymous, external voice
point of view · The point of view is third person, reflecting the point of view mostly of the boy.
tone · The tone is serious and grave, even dismal at times. Sometimes the tone shifts and takes a spiritual voice.
tense · Past tense
setting (time) · The book takes place in the nineteenth century.
setting (place) · The home of a Southern American sharecropper
protagonist · The boy
major conflict · The arrest of the boy's father and the disappearance of Sounder.
rising action · The boy searches for his father and the boy encounters the teacher.
climax · The boy leaves the family's cabin to live with the teacher; the father comes home.
falling action · The boy's father dies; Sounder dies.
themes · The obscuring and dissolving of identity; loss of innocence/childhood; Bible stories as a context for real life; things left behind
motifs · Loneliness; optimism; literacy
symbols · The hunting bag; the fence
foreshadowing · Sounder comes home injured; the boy talks about people in the Bible always finding that for which they are looking; the boy findsthe book in the trash.