Towards the end of the novel, Belton becomes a conservative assimilationist who wishes to integrate both races for the benefit of society. However, Bernard becomes a militant nationalist who wants to destroy the white race and have an all black government and society, which we could consider his version of a utopia. After Mr. King, editor of the Richmond Daily Temps, says, “Mr. Piedmont, this will carry you through college. I have only one favor to ask you. In all of your dealings with my people recognize the fact that there are two widely separate classes of us, and that there is a good side to the character of the worst class. Always seek for and appeal to that side of their nature” (Griggs 28), Belton dedicates himself to educating the white people on the African-American race so that he can bring them together and they can live in peace.
However, Bernard’s aggressive and militant attitude on creating the perfect society has manifested over time due to the way he feels towards the white man for making his parents marriage seem shameful. Bernard’s father says to him, “Now, my son, go forth; labor hard and climb high. Scale the high wall of prejudice. Make it possible, dear boy, for me to owe you ere I pass out of life. Let your mother have the veil of slander torn from her pure ere she closes her eyes on earth forever”