The saddest, and most disturbing incident came when Jimmie, the boy that Henry Johnson had save from the fire, came around with a number of his friends and mocked Henry. They dared each other to actual touch Henry, as though he was really a monster and not the sweet, kind, and gentle man who sacrificed his life for the very person who was now taunting him. (Crane, 87) This was the ultimate betrayal on the part of Jimmie, and he didn't even realize he was doing it. It took a lecturing from his father for Jimmie to understand that what he thought of as "just playing" was really insulting the man who had saved his life.
Finally the citizens of Whilomville display the ignorance of a community of racist "non-racists" when they come to discuss the situation with Dr. Trescott. A group of twelve communities leaders come over to "help" the doctor, they really care about him and how he is harming himself in the community by caring for Henry Johnson. They tell him "You are simply killing your practice through your infernal pigheadedness." (Crane, 103) In their compassion for the white Dr. Trescott, they would have him reject the man who saved his son's life. The people of the town are only concerned about the white doctor, not the black man who was horribly disfigured through an act of heroism. The town first thought of Henry as a saint, but this quickly turned to hatred toward him as he actually needed the people of Whilomville to demonstrate their kindness; and not just talk about how kind and compassionate they were.
When the people of Whilomville finally demonstrated compassion, it was toward the doctor, not Henry, and they demonstrated this compassion toward Dr. Trescott by urging him to betray Henry. Could they not have found the compassion in their hearts to help Henry? Or at least tolerate the Dr. Trescott's compassion toward Henry? No the tolerant, compassionate, and definitely non-racist people of Whilomville demanded Dr. Trescott betray Henry, a black man who was physically and mentally damaged saving his son. In other words, despite their talk of tolerance and compassion, when it came time to demonstrate these traits, the white town folk of Whilomville were tolerant and compassionate only toward other whites. Stephen Crane's The Monster is a great novel which demonstrates the hidden intolerance among "tolerant" people.
Crane, Stephen (1897) The Monster and Other Stories. New York: Harper Brothers. Web. 29 May 2011. http://books.google.com/books?id=LNk-
Marsh, Nicholas. Mary Shelley: Frankenstein. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Print.
"The Port Jervis Lynching" New York Times. June 7, 1892. Web. 29 May 2011.
Zimmerman, Thomas. "Plessy v. Ferguson" America in the 1890's. 1997. Web 29 May 2011 .http://www.bgsu.edu/departments/acs/1890s/plessy/plessy.html