Dave senses this as well. Thatâs why he talks about taking a goodbye shot at Mr. Hawkins âwhite houseâ to put a little fear in him (663). At least he would be reacting to him with a little human emotion and the fear would serve him right.
The gun, to Dave, symbolizes, and even represents, manhood...
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Dave, of course, procures his desired weapon and finds himself burdened by the restitution he must pay for murdering the mule. Interestingly, the mule symbolizes true manhood, responsibility. Dave, not ready to grapple with this new responsibility decides to run away. Dave is fortified with the power and manliness that he sees in the gun...