Judge Howard Allison

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Judge Howard Allison
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Allison, Judge Howard
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Judge Allison, the central character of "Beyond," is the child of a sickly woman; he describes his life this way: "She died when I was fourteen; I was twenty-eight before I asserted myself and took the wife of my choice; I was thirty-seven when my son was born" (790). He is a Federal judge, "a Republican office-holder in a Democratic stronghold" who shares the political leanings of his wife's father and a "great reader" whose "life is a solitary one" (789). He is a lifelong religious skeptic whose doubts have only intensified since his son's death eighteen years ago. The judge's political affiliation is unusual for a white Southerner in the 1930s; the region was overwhelmingly Democratic. His life is also probably "a solitary one" because of his position as a "Federal," not a county or state, judge (789). His neighbors might well see him as an advocate for black people and for federal as opposed to local authority in matters of law.

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