Lynching was the medium used to avenge the violation of a particular social norm. Whether this act is performed by an enraged mob or an individual (who inflicts punishment upon himself), the overt purpose is to maintain the status quo in general and send a message that keeps people "in their place" specifically. In Broken Blossoms, lynching and suicide (self-inflicted lynching) are used to avenge and solve the problem that the violation of Lucy's purity caused. Even though the Yellow Man's love for Lucy is depicted as being a "pure and holy thing," it is still chronicled as a doomed interracial romance. It is made acceptable only in comparison to the brutality that Battling Burrows bestows upon Lucy. The Yellow Man's violation or rape of Lucy is best portrayed in the scene after he gives her a doll.
He moves close to her as if to kiss her and because he sees her fear he decides to find fulfillment in kissing her sleeve. Lucy is portrayed as a virgin child, who is not able to give permission for the Yellow Man to kiss her and he doesn't ask to kiss her. During the infamous closet scene, Battling Burrows is depicted as breaking into the closet and violating Lucy by reaching in to her space and pulling her out on to the bed. Once she is on the bed, he beats her to death with the handle of the whip.
This depiction fully encapsulates the brutal violation that is rape. To avenge Lucy being by Burroughs, Yellow Man takes a gun and goes to the house of Burrows and Lucy. Upon arrival, he discovers that Lucy is dead and confronts Burrows and the Yellow Man shoots him. This symbolises the atonement for Burroughs violation of Lucy. The Yellow Man then takes Lucy's dead body back to his shop.
He places her in his bed and kneels beside her to prepare for his own death. He drives a knife through his chest and commits suicide. The choice of the Yellow Man to commit suicide symbolises the atonement and punishment for his interracial transgressions with Lucy. The lynching and suicide that were committed by the two male actors served to solve the problems that were created when the white virgin girl, Lucy, is violated by both of them. It completes the rape-lynch fantasy by dooming the interracial relationship that developed between Lucy and the Yellow Man and therefore solves the situation..