William Armstrong’s Novel, Sounder Essay example

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Chapters 1-2 Summary
William Armstrong’s novel, Sounder, takes place in the home of a Southern American sharecropper in the nineteenth century. In the beginning of the book, it describes an image of the father petting his dog, Sounder, in the pouch. The boy asks his father where he first got Sounder. The father explains how Sounder came to him along the road when he was a pup. The boy loves Sounder and thinks no other animal in the world can replace him. He thinks the most impressive thing about Sounder is its bark. It echoes so loudly, clearly, and musically that everyone in the neighborhood can hear it. Then the father tells the boy that they will go hunting with Sounder if it is not windy tonight. After the conversation, the father and
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Then the other man handcuffs his father and walks him to the wagon. The boy tries to hold Sounder back and succeeds until the wagon is down the road. Sounder rips away and quickly runs after the wagon. The sheriffs shoot Sounder, then Sounder falls down on the road. The boy runs to Sounder finding one side of Sounder’s head and shoulder is missing. His mother tells the boy to return and tells him to let he dog to die in peace. Later the boy goes to look for Sounder, but fails every time. All he can find is Sounder's ear on the ground, so he takes it with him. He puts it under his pillow and wishes Sounder to come home alive. Before the boy goes to bed, he fills Sounder's bowl and leaves it outside wishing he would come back and eat it.

Chapters 3-4 Summary
The next morning the family eats their usual old biscuits and gravy. Then the mother leaves to town to sell walnut kernels. The boy staring at her shadow as it fades away feels lonely again. He then goes upstairs to get Sounder's ear. He puts it in his pocket and goes look for Sounder. He searches every one of Sounder's favorite spots and climbs under the porch to look for the dog. The boy does not find anything but scratches on his arms and legs, and then the boy begins to cry. Everything he loves dearly leaves him: Sounder, his father, and his mother. The boy starts to wonder if the mother has returned the ham so they will forgive his father and let him go.

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