Finale reflection of “Midnight in the garden of Good and Evil” (ch. 24–30)
Section 5 of this masterpiece novel has by far been my favorite. There are complex character and character relationships intertwine to make this final section a page-turner till very the end. The air of mystery and evil surround the main conflict and impose questions within the reader themselves. In my opinion- this is where this whole story comes together to one final “bang”.
Chapter 24, “The black minuet” is where our beloved and seductive lady Chablis shows her true character. Firstly, the narrator is invited to a prestigious African American minuet dance ball. Lady Chablis begs him to take her as his “date”, but he denies strongly. While there, Lady Chablis emerged from the shadows and “crashes” the party( at least for our narrator). Luckily, he makes it out with him and his reputation intact. I adored this chapter because of what the author did with it. He used The Lady Chablis to develop our narrator’s character and provide insight into what he was thinking. Thinking more and more about the chapter, I found an insight into the authors architecture of the book.
As I have read, there are numerous small encounters between the narrator, and some would call “minor characters”. Every single one of them helps the reader understand our narrators mind a little better and gain more understanding of the book overall. Examples are Lady Chablis, Joe Odom, Mr Driggers etc. But, I noticed that these encounters are concentrated in part one. On the other hand in part two; the focus is overall Jim Williams and his encounters/ conflicts. During the court trials and the time in between, the narrator and Jim Williams spend a lot of time together. This time together would be spent discussing the case, whether or not he would win, and some miscellaneous quibble. Now looking back and reflecting on these chapters- I realize that the author has brought these two characters very close. So close to even consider their a relationship a friendship. During the prep for Jim William’s third trial, this friendship is discreetly put to to the test. Jim Williams tells our narrator what “really” happens the night of Danny’s murder in the final chapters. Now, our narrator AND the reader knows that Jim Williams has lied. The author creates an ever so subtle rift/conflict between these two characters- leaving the reader to choose sides.One side believes Jim Williams lied about everything and could have possible killed Danny in cold- blood and deserves justice. The other side sticks with Jim Williams and would like to see him innocent and out of prison.
Thus, there must be a solution to this dilemma. The multiple conflicts surrounding this corrupt story of murder must come to a end; and the author does it perfectly. Jim Williams, in his third trial, is found not guilty. Life goes back to normal and Jim Williams, continues to be Jim Williams. But, as Minerva reveals to us the upcoming chilling end to Jim Williams in one quote: “Cause I know … and he know … and the boy know … that justice ain’t been done yet.”
Mr. Jim Williams dies of a sudden heart attack in his study. His body is found directly opposite of where Danny hansford was lying when he died. The end of this book left me stuck between two emotions- shock and awe.