In rebutting the somewhat limiting classification of Grace King as a local color writer, Lute elaborates the author’s wide-ranging negotiations of race, class and gender liminality, which not only represent typical life in turn-of-the-century New Orleans, Louisiana, but are also indicative of the South’s modernization rather than decaying process. Lute rereads King’s most anthologized short story as deeply critical not of miscegenation as commonly assumed, but of the life-inhibiting ideals of young white womanhood that are to be held responsible for the girl’s death. Ultimately raised not to function in the world, the girl renders these ideals obsolete by killing herself, hence challenging the cultural norms of traditional white Southerners, including their sense of racial superiority. (keywords: short story, girl protagonist, education, race, contextual reading, New Orleans, 1893)