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Why does the author choose to show the town laughing at Joe when he suggests that he will pay Cap'n Eaton for more land for the town?
To demonstrate how ridiculous Joe's ambition is.
To show how incongruous it seemed in this time period for a black man to have enough money to buy that much land.
To parallel the townspeople's cruelty at the beginning of the novel and show that this is a consistent character trait.
To set up an ironic contrast to the success Joe will likely have later in the novel when he is able to buy the land and win the respect of the townspeople.
To make Joe seem like a more sympathetic character.