The death of the Commonwealth of England shortly followed that of Cromwell. Despite the reintroduction of the monarch of England, the power of the Parliament had been greatly shifted forever. Never again would a monarch be able to disregard the Parliament as King Charles I had, nor would they ever hold as much power as they had previously. Eventually and to this day, the Parliament would come to control the monarch and not vice-versa. Due to the fighting of the English Civil War the balance of power between the monarch and the Parliament of England was shifted forever.
The narrator’s grandfather introduces a further element of moral and emotional ambiguity to the novel, contributing to the mode of questioning that dominates it. While the grandfather confesses that he deems himself a traitor for his policy of meekness in the face of the South’s enduring racist structure, the reader never learns whom the grandfather feels he has betrayed: himself, his family, his ancestors, future generations, or perhaps his race as a whole. While this moral ambiguity arises from the grandfather’s refusal to elaborate, another ambiguity arises out of his direct instructions. For in the interest of his family’s self-protection, he advises them to maintain two identities: on the outside they should embody the stereotypical good slaves, behaving just as their former masters wish; on the inside, however, they should retain their bitterness and resentment against this imposed false identity. By following this model, the grandfather’s descendants can refuse internally to accept second-class status, protect their own self-respect, and avoid betraying themselves or each other.