Chapters 5 and 6 do not much serve to move the plot forward, except to accentuate the passage of time and to show how little things have changed in the cabin. The return of Sounder is less joyous than the boy or his mother might have anticipated because little changes; Sounder's return just signals one more being in the house who misses father, wishing he were home. Sounder is also a painful reminder of what happened to the boy's father and where he is. Armstrong also uses Sounder as a foreshadowing device; he comes home, but he comes home changed for the worse and missing something that once defined him.