A theme which is seen in this story is Racism. There is a since of re-telling the story, or emphasizing ‘White wins over Black”. The story was written in 1923 when African American persons were thought of differently depending on where they were living. The northerner was given much more credibility, responsibility, and respect than the southerner. This is a story of the southerner, and the racist thoughts which surrounded him/her.
The story also talks about the ‘cultural no-no’ of the time. Interracial relationships, for Bob Stone (a White man) to have a relationship with Louisa (a Black women) was Taboo at the time. Never the less, this ‘no-no’ still was represented as ‘winning’ in the story. When Tom stabs Bob in conflict with him fighting over Louisa, “White men like ants upon a forage rushed about”. There was immediate attention, and the ‘resolution’ projects the thoughts of a typical southern town of that time: destruction of the evil (Black man).
When I write this I cringe… I don’t believe that the author believed this, and I indefinitely wouldn’t agree to this line of thinking. I would suggest though that the author was creatively expressing what he envisioned or maybe even experienced in the south.