The main theme of “Saturday Afternoon” by Erskine Caldwell is that of indifference to violence. A side theme of the narrative is that of racism. Through this account, the author tries to show the dangers of violence becoming something common and how indifferent violence can lead to as much cruelty as purposeful violence.
Indifference to violence
The theme of indifference to violence is illustrated in the short story mostly through the characters of Tom and Jim. It is also shown by the attitudes of the white men who sell and drink Coca-Cola and homemade whiskey while torturing and killing a human being, as if they were at some kind of entertainment show.
Tom’s indifferent character is established from the very beginning in relation to his work. Tom is a butcher, yet he is never concerned with the meat he sells being ...