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The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

Ernest J. Gaines
Quotes Important Quotations Explained
Quotes Important Quotations Explained

We caused one death already this evening. Jimmy was right. We all killed him. We tried to make him follow a set of rules our people gived us long ago.

Jules Raynard says this to Jane Pittman about Tee Bob's death at the very end of Book III. Jules Raynard is trying to suggest that the race regulations of their society and everyone's adherence to these rules resulted in Tee Bob's death. Although he killed himself, he did so because he was not allowed to love a black woman as he did. His best friend told him that he would be ostracized and that he was out of line. The black woman herself told him that their relationship could never work and that he was crazy for wanting to marry her. Tee Bob saw his love for Mary Agnes as completely pure and not wrong. Since he could not understand why his culture thought that his love was wrong, he killed himself. He could find no peace for his heart in the south, so he left for a better place. As Jules Raynard explains, everyone around him, both white and black, contributed to his grief because no one was able to see beyond the existence of race, as he attempted to do.