Category: a gathering of old men

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What keeps us from acting?

Lillian Smith wrote Now is the Time (1955) in reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Smith saw the decision as every child’s Magna Carta, and in Now is the Time, she laid out that in order to move forward, we must act. The book, in essence, as Rose Gladney and Lisa Hodgens put it, “crystallized approximately two decades … Read More What keeps us from acting?

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Interracial Intimacy in Ernest Gaines’ “Bloodline”

As I read Ernest Gaines’ “Bloodline” recently, the interactions between ‘Malia and Frank Laurent stood out. The story, essentially, centers around Copper, the son of Frank’s brother Walter who raped Copper’s mother. Copper has returned to the Laurent plantation to claim what is his, by birth. Essentially, he arrives to overthrow the system that denies him an existence due to the fact that his … Read More Interracial Intimacy in Ernest Gaines’ “Bloodline”

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“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and Language

If you enjoy what you read here at Interminable Rambling, think about making a contribution on our Patreon page.  This semester, I am teaching Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) for the first time. I am teaching it as part of the ENG 122 survey course at the University of Bergen. While I still do not necessarily enjoy the novel (it’s kind … Read More “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and Language

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Ernest J. Gaines’ “A Gathering of Old Men” and the Social Construct of Race

If you enjoy what you read here at Interminable Rambling, think about making a contribution on our Patreon page.  Recently, I spoke with a colleague’s class about Ernest J. Gaines and specifically A Gathering of Old Men (1983). During the question and answer period, two students asked questions that made me start to think about the ways that Gaines, throughout his entire career, challenges … Read More Ernest J. Gaines’ “A Gathering of Old Men” and the Social Construct of Race

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Ernest J. Gaines’ “The Tragedy of Brady Sims”

Speaking with Jerome Tarshis in 1974, Ernest Gaines spoke about his desire to write a story with “that barber shop type of thing” where people gather around a community center and relate stories about the past and the present. Looking at James Joyce’s “Ivy Day in the Committee Room” as an example, Gaines told Tarshis, “I think is one of the greatest short stories that … Read More Ernest J. Gaines’ “The Tragedy of Brady Sims”

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The Blank Spots in Faulkner’s “Dry September” and Ernest Gaines

I’ve written about the image of dust in William Faulkner’s “Dry September” (1931) on this blog before, and today I would like to look at another aspect of Faulkner’s story that struck me as I reread it recently. Faulkner never shows McClendon and the mob lynch Will Mayes; however, we know that is exactly what happens because as they return in the car, Hawkshaw … Read More The Blank Spots in Faulkner’s “Dry September” and Ernest Gaines

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The Convict Lease System in Frank Yerby’s “Gillian”

Frank Yerby’s Gillian (1960) deals, thematically, with the idea of manhood and the mythological ideals surrounding white Southern Womanhood. Gillian MacAllister and Hero Farnsworth shatter the virginal, innocent idea of white Southern Womanhood while Michael Ames challenges ideas of manhood. While these themes are at the forefront of Gillian,  there are, as usual with Yerby, racial aspects that swim just beneath the surface. Gillian, … Read More The Convict Lease System in Frank Yerby’s “Gillian”

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Land in Ernest J. Gaines’s “A Gathering of Old Men”

Last post, I wrote about the appearance of the pronoun “they” in Ernest J. Gaines’s “The Sky is Gray.” In that story, “they” appears as a reference to ownership and power in the community that seeks to keep James and Octavia is subjugation so the invisible white landowners can maintain their position at the top of the social ladder. As James looks out of … Read More Land in Ernest J. Gaines’s “A Gathering of Old Men”