The old men, however, turn their guns into signs of manhood. I didn't particularly like the language, some of it was very repetitive and I'm sure the reason for it was some This is a tale of a dead white men in 1970s Louisiana on a sugarcane plantation and all the black men in the quarter who decided that today, today they were going to stick together for this cause. Tee Jack represents the quiet acceptance of racist values in the South and the difficulty of complete social change. Mathu is honored and respected by all of the characters in the novel, including Candy and the Sheriff Mapes. Gaines's novel A Gathering of Old Men is set on a sugarcane plantation in Louisiana in the 1970s. Similarly, the Sheriff listens to the narratives of the older black men without complaint and shows no preference for whites in the final battle.
Here again, the viewpoints of multiple narrators help the reader to see different sides to the same story, to walk in the shoes of more than one character, and thus better understand the complexity of the tension that has built throughout the narrative. I must confess that I felt compelled to suspend disbelief that this many men could form a brave, unified front as a call to action without one voice of dissent other than the old preacher, whom one would expect to advocate non-violence. This is a novel of hope, found strength, and courage. I wanted to see on paper the small country churches schools during the week , and I wanted to hear those simple religious songs, those simple prayers--that true devotion. Madison Smart Bell reviewed A Gathering of Old Men upon its publication in 1983. When each man arrives on the porch, gun in hand, they await the sheriff and the local near do wells who will seek revenge. He attended San Francisco State University, served in the army, and won a writing fellowship to Stanford University.
In the opening scene, she searches in the weeds for pecans under a tree, which seems an accurate metaphor for how clueless she is to what is truly happening in the world. I really thought the varying character perspectives really enhanced the viewpoints. I will now read anything I decided against an afternoon at a fantastic art museum in favor of finishing this book! Snookum is curious, disobedient, and questioning. When the sheriff demands to know who is to blame, each and every older gentleman claims he was the culprit. It fully captures the flavor of Gaines' use of multiple narrators.
Perhaps most important, King reveals how the process of naming became a form of empowerment for African Americans, a way of both reclaiming black identity and resisting conventions of white society. This book popped out at me at the library. The watching men respond by all physically lining up so that the Sheriff can easily hit them all. Overall it is a negative symbol that suggests increased hardships for the local blacks. I read this years ago when I was a librarian living in Texas and it was newly published. The tractor was the primary tool of the Cajuns that pushed the blacks off the land. As such, it lends itself perfectly to actual narration which is beautifully handled by the cast of narrators here! Guns Candy initially instructs the men to bring twelve-gauge shotguns to Mathu's house because she thinks that the proliferation of guns will make it impossible for the Sheriff to solve the murder.
At the novel's end, the old men still possess double consciousnesses once described by DuBois, yet the relationship of these two identities has grown closer together. This book was published in 1983, at a time when I didn't read fiction for almost 2 decades. Luke Will, a local ruffian, criticizes Gil's perspective, and so too does Gil's father. With her unwillingness to let Mathu handle the situation, Candy restricts his freedom and humanity. Especially where the civil rights movements and the women's movement intersect. This is a great read; I give it 5 out of 5 stars. A unique aspect of this book is that each chapter is narrated by a different character so the reader gains many perspectives as the plot develops.
I enjoyed the social commentary of the book and the depth of the characters, but to be honest that's about it. Candy, the heir to the landowner on whose property the incident occurred, is determined to do whatever is necessary to protect the old servant Matthu, whom she loves as a surrogate father, that the evidence incriminates. Even a California library had no books by black authors. Any reader will never forget. He looked for books with people like him in them. The black men unite in what they believe is their last stand against bigotry and its attendant physical and psychological abuses. Of course, we picked the book back in January so we had no idea how it would mesh with current events but mesh, it certainly does.
But some are attempting to influence the narrative of John Woman, and they might know something about the facts of his hidden past. Imagine waking in a new world. The Old Men reminded me of relatives and friends of my dear father and desire to do something meaningful in their lives was such a powerful illustration. The language is realistic and not politically correct. This is does by relating stories which, while fictional within these pages, were duplicated countless times over in real life.
The book opens with the death of a Cajun farmer and in order to protect the person who did it, Candy, a white woman, confesses to the crime. Set in sugarcane Louisiana in the 1970s, years of simmering tensions between black and white, man and woman, man and man, over the murder of a horrific Cajun white man Beau Boutan , supposedly committed by Mathu, black father-figure to white woman Candy, finds a host of elderly black men standing tall, claiming along with Candy that each and all had committed murder. Gil is also known by his nickname Salt. No matter how hard he tries to keep Morgan away from the streets, she is determined to defy him. For the Sheriff, Mathu is the only man who is man enough to murder. Nothing will break their story. There is an investigation into the how and whys of this murder that is revealed through various character perspectives, and, along with these perspectives we get a deeper sense of racial tensions that have consumed much of this community.
Being a native born Southerner, growing up in Alabama, and white, Gaines opened a world to me to which I return again and again. Casting that aside, this is a pressure cooker situation where parties on all sides react and overreact and fall at various points on the spectrum between pacifism and militant action. It is an amazing book, especially so because of the deft, multifaceted approach it takes in attacking the subject of racism. He is ineffectual, usually intoxicated, and generally disinterested. Gaines captures the decades of racism endured by the old men who share crop the Marshall plantation.