full title Sounder
author William Armstrong
type of work Novel
genre Young adult novel
time and place written 1969, Virginia
date of first publication 1969
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.