Jeff tries to hold together his theory of Thorwald as a murderer in the face of opposition from Stella, Lisa, and especially Doyle. He’s more interested in the why and when of the murder, leaving the how to Stella and Doyle to consider, and piecing his ideas together to form the big picture.
Nel uses Sula to creates balance within herself and environment.
As a seven year old child, Josh employs both methods of problem solving, but he tends to favor a more holistic approach. Early in the story, Josh is so reluctant to beat his father at chess, he doesn’t even want to play him. His reluctance demonstrates his desire to hold the relationship together. He doesn’t want to change the status quo—the relationship he has with his dad. He is sensitive to inequities, as demonstrated by his sensitivity to the imbalance between winning and losing, and his sensitivity toward the people around him.
Berniece uses female problem solving techniques. She tries to uncover Boy Willie’s motive behind his unexpected visit. She sets conditions upon having Boy Willie and Lymon in her house. She considers her family’s history surrounding the piano and concludes that it cost too much in suffering to give up.