Brief Summary Of 'The Rockpile' By James Baldwin

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“The Rockpile”, by James Baldwin, starts out with the narrator describing the mass of natural rock that juts out of the ground in an empty lot between two houses. It Is located across the street from the home of brothers John and Roy and their family. There always seemed to be boys playing and fighting on the rockpile each afternoon and on Saturdays and Sundays. John and Roy’s mother, Elizabeth, had told both of the boys that they are to go nowhere near the rockpile. On Saturdays the boys like to sit out on the fire escape and watch the street below and the people that walk it. Their father, Gabriel, always got off of work early on Saturdays and soon the boys knew they would have to come inside. From the window the boys could see the bridge that spanned the Harlem…show more content…
Some friends of Roy called him from the streets to come down with them. John tried to persuade Roy to stay where he was, but he was adamant and decided to go down anyways. After a substantial amount of time had passed, John looked up from his drawing and noticed that there was a gang fight on the rockpile. John had a hard time locating Roy until he saw him moving to the very top. Roy’s shirt was torn and just then, an empty tin can flew out of the air and cut him above his eye. As he lay bleeding on the ground, Roy yelled out for his mother. Elizabeth ran downstairs to get him and a man was waiting with Roy in his arms. Once they got upstairs the blood was washed away and Roy’s cut was treated and bandaged. Elizabeth’s company, Sister McCandless, looked at John with scorn and wanted to know why he allowed his brother to go downstairs and why he did not inform his mother. As the sister got ready to leave to prepare for Tarry Service, she could hear the footsteps of John and Roy’s father coming up the stairs. Sister McCandless left promptly to go and prepare Gabriel for what lie
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