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Bill Gillespie

In the Heat of the Night - Bill Gillespie Character Web

Kiran Crosby

on 24 April 2013

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Transcript of Bill Gillespie

Bill Gillespie Kiran Mundi Relationships Character Traits In the Heat of the Night Significance Emphasizes the impact of showing racism and its negativity in the novel. Sam Wood Responsible Shows that people can change. Gillespie realizes that everyone is equal,
including Tibbs, and that his racist ideas
had been wrong; He shook Tibbs' hand. It's evident that he cares about his self pride when he always puts Wood down. He wants all his cops to be extremely disciplined to make himself be respected and looked up highly due to his success. In the end, he's surprised at Sam Wood's capability, and acknowledges his success. Gillespie realizes that Wood is a man to admire and look up to. Virgil Tibbs He despises Tibbs because of the fact he is "black" and doesn't think he's smart or can be successful because of that due to his racist beliefs. When he sees that Tibbs has a considerably high amount of money on him, he immediatly assumes he stole it or may be involved with some illegal activities instead of actually earning it with his hard work. After he sees that Tibbs was able to solve the case, he finds out that Virgil is really an intellectual man, despite his "black" skin. Gillespie begins to admire him for his bravery and persistence and, in the end, finally shakes his hand with dignity and pride. He was only strict and rude to his
cops because he wanted everything to
be done right. Gillespie was an inexperienced
Chief and just the feeling of insecurity made him
nervous and under a lot of pressure to impress
the town and do his job right. When it came to Virgil Tibbs, he kept him on the case because he knew deep inside that he would be the one to solve it because he had the potential. Also, he didn't want to lose his job, with the possibility of failing to solve the case so he had him as the fall guy; If Tibbs reigned victorious, Gillespie would get the credit. If he didn't, Tibbs would be the one responsible for it and blamed on the fact he was "black." Racist His first impression of Tibbs was that he was unqualified to be a capable cop just because he's "black." Bill thought he stole the money he had earned because of his stereotype of "black people" including "black" people are always poor, dirty, and uneducated. Assertive "His forcefulness cost him the girl he wanted to marry and swept away many obstacles as though they had never existed." He is quick to make decisions, and doesn't always think them through after analyzing the consequences that might appear in the future. When he told Tibbs to leave, for instance, he didn't understand the value and importance of Tibbs to the case, but later brought him back. Bill realized that he was needed in order for him to keep his job as Chief of Police in Pasadena. The town was split into two sections; One
for the "white" people, and one for the "black." "You're a great credit to your race." He paused.
"I mean, of course, the human race." Conflict In the beginning, Gillespie hates Tibbs and has racist ideas towards him. But, after seeing his success and capabilities throughout the case, he now admires him for his integrity, bravery, and persistence. Theme Bill starts to question his belief system and once
Virgil Tibbs comes into his life, he has to begin to accept the changes and concept of a "black" man being more capable of handling the case. Tibbs is also more intellectual than Gillespie, which was strongly against what he believed in; He was always better than a "black" people, no matter what the circumstance. My Opinion I believe that Gillespie was a good man from the start. Yes, he is strongly racist, but we should also consider the fact that Gillespie wasn't born in Pasadena. He wasn't accustomed to seeing all the differences between each other, and being racist might have been because of the way he grew up and the people around him. Also, with all the pressure of being the Chief of Police in a different city than where you were born, is a lot of hard work and really pressuring. He feels as though he has to be perfect, and tries his best to maintain the respect he has earned.
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