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"In The Heat Of The Night" By John Ball Character Notes

1768 words - 7 pages

Main Characters:Sam Wood is the protagonist in the story because the story starts off with him driving around Wells, and he was the one who discovered Mr. Mantoli's body. On page two, it says, "He slipped the car into gear and moved it away from the curb with the professional smoothness of an expert driver." This quote shows how Sam is an expert driver. Another quote on page thirty nine, "Sam reached up and removed his uniform cap ashamed that he had forgotten to do so until now. I'm terribly sorry to have to bring you this news." This quote describes how Sam is a sensitive person internally. In addition, Sam Wood hates to be called Sam and rather be called Mr. Wood. Sam has been a police officer for three years, (pg.2) and is a night patrol cop. He wears a police uniform that has the number 38 on it. (pg.7) Sam in a cautious person because when driving, he concentrates on missing holes in the road! (pg.3) Sam has powerful feelings for Duena. On page 57, it says, "He wanted desperately to offer her his protection, to let her cry on his ample shoulder if she wanted to, to hold her hand in a reassuring grip." Sam also starts to develop a relationship with Virgil because he knows he is helping them solve the murder case, so he decides to offer him food. Sam's conflict internally is about racism. He was extremely racist to blacks at first. For example, he called them "animals" on page five. Also, he arrested the Negro without questioning in the railroad station, assuming that he was the one of murdered Mr. Mantoli on page 15. Later on in the book, he overcomes his conflict and realizes that black people are normal people because he has been working with Virgil (a Negro) during the whole investigation. Moreover, he shook hands with Virgil. Sam's conflict externally is to find the person who killed Mr. Mantoli because he has strong feelings for Duena and wants to help her find the murderer of her father. Sam is round because he is strict and follows orders, but he has his own opinions. Sam is also dynamic because he changes his views on Virgil, which he undergoes a significant change in the book. Lastly, Sam is a realistic character because he shows many human characteristics.Virgil Tibbs is a Negro homicide investigator (pg.25) from Pasadena, California. (pg.19) He works for the Pasadena Police Department for ten years, on page 25, and is very educated. (pg.18) He wanted to visit his mother, but Sam was thoroughly questioning Virgil in the railroad station, and this incident made Virgil help the Pasadena Police Department in solving their case. On page 14, it says, "He is fairly slender and dressed up in city clothes, including a white shirt and a tie. Sam guessed that he might be about thirty, but it was always hard to tell about blacks." Obviously, this quote describes Virgil's physical appearance. On page 15, it says, "Virgil has a broad nose, but it looked like a white man's nose, thick heavy lips, and the line of his mouth was straight and...

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