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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS
This book is an autobiographical diary of John Howard Griffin, a white journalist from Texas, who undergoes medical treatment to temporarily color his skin black, so that he can understand what it is like to be a Negro in a land of racial segregation. It is a journal of the authorís personal experiences living as a Negro.
For six weeks the author, who is from Texas, hitchhikes or walks, takes a bus or trudges the streets of four other Southern states of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Georgia, all of which treat the Negroes as tenth class citizens.
LIST OF CHARACTERS
John Howard Griffin
The author of the book. He is a sensitive white journalist. The whole book is a shocking account of his personal experiences, when he transforms himself temporarily into a Negro for six weeks. During this period, he suffers raw hate and violence, crudity and inhumanity, from the white racists.
The minor characters are many, both white and Negro, friend and foe. Most are nameless, even faceless. But they are memorable because they are either antagonistic or thoughtless to the author, or else kind or sympathetic to him. They are the vehicles through which the author experiences either white racism or white sympathy, black solidarity or black antagonism. One memorable Negro character is Sterling Williams, the authorís first contact in the Negro community. One remarkable white is the journalist P. D. East, who is a very brave, sensitive and committed journalist.