Category: the autobiography of miss jane pittman

Art and Creation

In “Going Empty,” Dessa writes about filming the music video for her song “Sound the Bells.” She talks about learning to control her breathing to dive underwater amidst Jason deCaires Taylor’s submerged sculptures off the coast of Mexico. She ruminates about her career, writing about the fears that time is rapidly running out on commercial success. She thinks, Yet all my life I’ve been … Read More Art and Creation

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History and Education in Alice Walker’s “The Third Life of Grange Copeland”

Today, I’m going to finish the discussion I began last week on history and the ways that we construct meaning. In the last post, I looked at Ernest J. Gaines’ The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971). For this post, I will focus on one more scene from Gaines’ novel then move on to look at a section from Alice Walker’s The Third Life … Read More History and Education in Alice Walker’s “The Third Life of Grange Copeland”

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“Miss Jane is not in them”: Voices in Historical Narratives

Over the past couple of posts, I have written about the role of history and literature in countering prevailing myths about the past and the present. Today, I want to continue that discussion by looking at a couple of scene from Ernest J. Gaines’ The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971). On Thursday, I will finish this series by looking at a section from … Read More “Miss Jane is not in them”: Voices in Historical Narratives

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I’m the Victim of America’s Sin. I’m What Sin Is.

Over the last couple of posts, I have written about Jeff Nichols’ Loving and the legal constructions of race. Today, I want to conclude that discussion by looking some at Jean Toomer’s Cane (1923) and Ernest J. Gaines’ The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971). In each of these texts, published close to fifty years apart, Toomer and Gaines highlight the ways that words … Read More I’m the Victim of America’s Sin. I’m What Sin Is.

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Language in William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury”: Part I

Over the past few posts, I have been writing about Ernest Hemingway, modernism, the ways that language constructs meaning, and how authors such as Hemingway interrogated these constructions. Today, I want to look briefly at another modernist author who does the same thing in a slightly different manner than Hemingway. That author, of course, is William Faulkner, and the novel is The Sound and … Read More Language in William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury”: Part I

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The Unsuccessfully Repressed Past in Alan Moore’s “Swamp Thing”

Since getting into comics about two years ago, I have been wanting to read through some of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing run from the 1980s. After reading Qiana J. Whitted’s essay, “Of Slaves and Other Swamp Things: Black Southern History as Comic Book Horror,” I knew it was time for me to finally grab a few issues and read them. So, I started with … Read More The Unsuccessfully Repressed Past in Alan Moore’s “Swamp Thing”

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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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Frank Yerby and the Myth of Valor

Frank Yerby’s Benton’s Row appeared in 1954, eight years after his debut novel The Foxes of Harrow (1946) In many ways, the narrative arcs are similar: a mysterious man comes to town, under mysterious circumstances, he makes a fortune, has numerous lovers, and his dynasty crumbles by the end of the novel. While The Foxes of Harrow focuses on Stephen Fox almost exclusively, ending … Read More Frank Yerby and the Myth of Valor

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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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Miss Jane Pittman and the Temptation of Christ

After John the Baptist baptizes Jesus Christ in the gospels, Jesus goes into the desert for forty days and forty nights before beginning his ministry. During that time, Satan tempts Jesus three times with food, display of divination, and dominion over the world. Jesus does not succumb to these temptations, and he rebukes Satan with scripture, ultimately defeating him. As I read through Ernest … Read More Miss Jane Pittman and the Temptation of Christ

Reconstructing and Learning from the Past in Attica Locke’s "The Cutting Season"

Attica Locke At the beginning of Ernest J. Gaines’s The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971), Mary asks the unnamed history teacher why he wants to interview Miss Jane. He tells her that he teaches history and that his students would benefit from Jane’s story because “Miss Jane is not in [their history books]” (v). Because of this omission, like the missing pages in … Read More Reconstructing and Learning from the Past in Attica Locke’s "The Cutting Season"