“I love people and collect friends like some people collect coins or exotic pipes. So far, the people of the island had “yassuhed” me to death. I was the white principal, a figure of authority, which in itself could not be trusted”.
In Chapter 4 Conroy began exploring the island and what it had to offer him. He found himself going to the beach and walking in the forest to get away from the school house where he spent most of his time. Along with exploring the island Conroy also met some of the locals on the island and they became his associates and some even his friends. Some of the people he met he really didn’t care that much for but he knew he had to keep a civil relationship with them because they were vital to his well-being on the island. Two people that he met, Zeke and Ida became his friends rather quickly and he found himself amongst their company from time to time. Most of the people on the island wondered why he had come there to educate the black students because he was white but at the same time they understood that somebody needed to do it. Also in this chapter Conroy falls in love and gets married to Barbara Jones. The distance from his wife and family made it even tougher on him to remain on the island. He didn’t want to leave the children behind in Yamacraw but at the same time he didn’t want his wife living on the island under such harsh conditions. He was unable to focus on teaching the students because he wanted to be with his family. His marriage to Barbara made Conroy think about why he was in Yamacraw to begin with because it seemed like what he was doing at the school wasn’t working.