Joppy's bar is the starting point for the action in the novel. It is here that Easy is first introduced to DeWitt Albright who later leads him down a treacherous path. Joppy introduces Easy to Albright for selfish motives. The smell of flesh permeating the bar may foreshadow the coming violence and murders in which Joppy is involved.
Racial tension is made very clear by Easy's reaction to seeing Albright, a white man, enter a bar that is predominantly frequented by black patrons. Albright's whiteness is exaggerated not only by his name, but by his "off-white linen suit and shirt with a Panama straw hat and bone shoes over flashing white silk socks"(45). This creates a greater separation between Albright and Easy. The relationship between the two races is mirrored by the distinction between black and white neighborhoods.
Easy is wary of Albright from the first time they shake hands. "'You can call me DeWitt, Easy,' the white man said. His grip was strong but slithery, like a snake coiling around my hand"(46). Easy is figuratively pulled into misfortune by the snake. This snake-like handshake evokes a biblical metaphor for those who have fallen. Although DeWitt attempts to seem harmless and friendly, allowing Easy to call him by his first name, it is apparent that his character is dangerous.